Seoul ranks as world’s No. 9 city for startups in new report

Posted on : 2024-06-11 16:39 KST Modified on : 2024-06-11 16:39 KST
Seoul earned strong ratings in four of the five assessment categories, including a perfect score for funding
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and others take part in a ceremony for Seoul Biohub’s global center, which helps local startups in the biomedical space go global, on April 25 in Seoul’s Dongdaemun District. (courtesy of Seoul metropolitan government)
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and others take part in a ceremony for Seoul Biohub’s global center, which helps local startups in the biomedical space go global, on April 25 in Seoul’s Dongdaemun District. (courtesy of Seoul metropolitan government)

Seoul came in at No. 9 on a ranking of the 300 world cities that are best for startups.

This was the city’s highest ranking since it was first included in the rankings in 2017.

Startup Genome, a private US-based global startup ecosystem rating institution, held a presentation in London on Monday to announce these findings as part of its “Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2024.” The report was based on an examination of 300 cities in 100 countries between July 2021 and December 2023.

Previously ranked 16th in 2021, 10th in 2022, and 12th in 2023 for its global startup ecosystem, Seoul came in at No. 9 this year. Its startup ecosystem value was rated at 308 trillion won, or more than five times the 54 trillion won calculated for 2021.

This year’s top spot went to Silicon Valley in the US, followed by a tie for second place between New York City and London. Los Angeles and Tel Aviv were tied for fourth place.

Four Asian cities were included in the global top 10: Singapore in seventh place, Beijing in eighth, Seoul in ninth, and Tokyo in 10th.

The report showed Seoul earning strong ratings in four of the five assessment categories, including 10 points for funding, nine points for ecosystem performance (including the number of companies recovering their funding), nine points for talent and experience, and nine points for knowledge (including research and patents).

In the funding category, where Seoul received a perfect score of 10 points, the report said the city was recognized as having the highest competitiveness in Asia and the fifth highest globally.

Seoul also made major strides in the category of market research, which evaluates the number of world-leading businesses and the scale of the domestic market. Its score improved from one point in 2023 all the way to seven points this year.

This reflected Startup Genome’s tallies showing the number of unicorn businesses in Seoul rising from 17 in 2023 to 20 in 2024, with the number of businesses successfully recouping their funding climbed from 132 to 208 over the same period.

Lee Hae-woo, the director of the Seoul metropolitan government’s economic policy office, said, “We are working to establish a startup ecosystem to produce 50 globally noted unicorn businesses, with the aim of making the leap to become part of the global top five of startup cities by 2030.”

By Ki Min-do, staff reporter

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

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