In South Korea there are about 7.3 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) — defined as companies with fewer than 250 employees. Their workforce together makes up 83.1% of all company employees in the country, totaling about 17.1 million people, according to OECD data.
To help meet the financial needs of SMEs in the country, Seoul-based fintech startup Credit details Korea (KCD) said Thursday it has raised $24.7 million in Series D expansion funding.
Strategic investors — Fiserv, a Nasdaq-listed fintech company, and LG Uplus, a telco unit of LG Corporation — participated in the renewal round. In total, KCD has raised about $70 million in its Series D round and about $112 million since its inception in 2016, said KCD CEO Kelvin Dongho Kim.
The latest financing values the company at approximately $776 million (KRW 1.1 trillion). KCD was valued at about $563 million last November when it raised $28.1 million in its Series D1.
The startup aims to address the pain points of small traders by offering digital financial services, Kim told londonbusinessblog.com. In 2017, KCD launched its SMB accounting app called Cash Note, which allows small and medium business owners to track a comprehensive view of cash flow, including income, credit card sales, and expenses. The app also provides services such as SME sales ledgers and policy information. It connects small business owners with other entrepreneurs in their community looking to scale their business.
According to Kim, most small and medium-sized business owners with low credit often struggle to obtain working capital loans and survive tight cash flow. So the startup added SME-focused lending services to its platform, giving SME entrepreneurs access to capital loan programs, Kim said.
KCD claims that it has more than 1.7 million registered merchants in South Korea and that the app has become a super app among small and medium business owners.
KCD has acquired South Korean startups including ImU, a point of sale (POS) service provider, and Persona, a government subsidiary for alerting SMEs. The company plans to use its new capital to expand its 230-person team and make additional acquisitions.
Past donors have included KB Kookmin Bank, KB Securities, GS Holdings, KT Investment, Pavilion Capital, Shinhan Card, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, Kakao and Kclavis.