South Korea's startup ecosystem is set to get a boost with the arrival of Nest, a Hong Kong-based accelerator.
Nest announced its intention to open an office in Seoul under the name Nest Korea, reflecting its commitment to supporting the growth of the country's startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Nest Korea will be managed by Bridge Partners, a Singapore-based firm using its B-Labs program to run the new office.
Nest focuses on investing in high-growth startups at the seed to Series A stage, with investments ranging from US$100,000 to US$1 million.
As of December 2020, Nest has invested in 17 startups and operates four offices in Hong Kong, Nairobi, Bangkok, and Bahrain.
Nest's expansion into South Korea comes when the country's startup ecosystem is thriving.
The private and public sectors have been pushing startup-centric policies since 2013, with the creative economy being one of the key initiatives under the Park Geun-Hye administration.
In addition, the current administration of President Moon Jae-in has positioned startups as the core engine of South Korea's economy, and his New Deal policies reflect this focus.
South Korea's startup ecosystem has received international recognition, with Startup Genome recognizing it as one of the top 30 startup ecosystems in the world.
In addition, mind the Bridge (MTB) has identified South Korea as entering the "scale-up" stage, with 11 unicorn-status startups as of December 2020.
Nest Korea joins leading global accelerators to support South Korea's growing startup ecosystem.
Techstars launched its accelerator business in July 2019 in partnership with Hillstone Partners, and 500 Startups runs various acceleration programs through its Seoul office, including Tapas, Spoon, and FINDA.
The presence of these global accelerators is expected to boost further the growth and success of South Korean startups and SMEs.