August 16, 2022

SK Group’s information and communication technology arm, SK Square announced to having invested a 35 billion won ($29.5 million) in a South Korean agricultural startup Green Labs, whilst adding the same to its range of portfolio companies as a sole investor.

About Green Labs

• The agricultural start-up was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Seoul and San Francisco.
• It operates a blockchain-powered smart farming platform called “Farm Morning,” that is committed to optimizing the supply chain of crop harvesting and distribution, whilst also providing data-driven consulting services to farmers.

The latest investment by SK Square in Green Labs puts the latter’s current enterprise valuation within the range of 600 billion-800 billion won. It also added that the agtech startup will soon earn a unicorn valuation of over $1 billion.

SK Square mentioned to having projected to exceed its revenue at 100 billion won by the year’s end with 450,000 subscribers to the platform. While the agtech startup is aiming to see its revenue rise by fivefold and double the number of subscribers by 2022.

About the deal –

• The latest investment will lay foundation for a potential collaboration with SK Square’s portfolio companies, which includes e-commerce subsidiary 11st.
• The collaboration between the companies may result in a wider distribution channel for crops by Farm Morning subscribers.
• Farmers on the “Farm Morning Carbon” service will be allowed to trade carbon credits with SK Group affiliates.

SK Square’s news on the investment comes a month after it launched as a spinoff from the country’s largest telcom comapny SK Telecom, announcing its bet on the blockchain wave.

According to reports, SK Square is now the second-largest shareholder of the country’s cryptocurrency exchange operator Korbit with a 90 billion won investment. It has also invested 8 billion won in Onmind, in exchange for a 40 percent stake. Onmind is a Kakao-backed virtual human maker.

SK Square have acquired a controlling stake in 11st, a security service company SK Shieldus and navigation service company T Map Mobility. It also holds about a 20 percent stake in Korea’s memory chip and flash drive maker SK hynix, and a 48 percent stake in app store operator One Store.