Primer Sazze Partners, a San Jose-based venture capital firm, plans to set up its second fund at $127 million (150 billion won), aiming in the first half of 2022 to invest in startups founded by Korean entrepreneurs in Asia and North America.
Its limited partners could include Hana Financial and a number of Korean tech entrepreneurs, including Saeju Jeong, CEO of Noom; Tim Hwang, CEO of FiscalNote; John Kim, CEO of SendBird; Chang Kim, CEO of Tapas Media; and Bong-Jin Kim, founder of Woowa Brothers, said founding partner of Primer Sazze Kiha Lee.
Its total assets under management (AUM) as of today is approximately $81.5 million, including its $42.9 million Fund I and $38.5 million wired for Fund II, Lee said.
The second fund will invest in early-stage startups, from pre-seed to Series A, Lee said. Initial ticket size will range between $500,000 and $3 million and follow-up checks.
Primer Sazze will focus on artificial intelligence, SaaS, health tech, food tech, consumer and sectors that take advantage of Korean culture, like drama, movies and K-pop bands, Lee continued.
One of Primer Sazze’s key strategies is to help its portfolio companies accelerate their global expansion with a mission to support Korean founders in their early-stage startups in Asia and North America.
Primer Sazze Partners launched its first fund with $42.9 million (50 billion won) in 2018. Its portfolio totals more than 50 startups, including Kippo, LOVO, Imprimed, Chequer Global, Zikooin Company, Upstage AI and DoctorNow in the U.S. and Korea.
The VC firm invested seed rounds in Upstage AI and LOVO; both raised Series A in the third quarter of this year.
Lee said the Korean tech entrepreneurs, who joined as limited partners in the second fund, will work alongside Primer Sazze to provide the advisory, mentorship and strategic support for the next generation of Korean founders.
“Korea is at its tipping point where the level of high-tech industries, talents and the growing market size with the increasing global awareness of Korean culture…We are excited to form a stellar group of advisors with the most successful Korean tech entrepreneurs as we share the mission of fostering the next generation of Korean entrepreneurs across the globe,” Lee said.
Updated: LG Corp has been removed from the list of LPs in the second paragraph. Primer Sazze told TechCrunch on November 25 that LG is reconsidering its final decision to invest in its fund.