LB Investment became a rising star in the South Korean venture capital (VC) market in 2020, raising more than 300 billion won ($272 million) and pushing its assets under management past the 1 trillion won mark for the first time.

The company secured third position in the fundraising category of thebell’s league tables of 78 domestic VC firms after creating the 310.6 billion won LB Next Unicorn Fund, the largest it has had. It was also seventh for the combination of VC and private equity (PE) funding. Atinum Investment took top spot in the fundraising category with 470 billion won, ahead of Korea Investment Partners with 450 billion won.

LB Investment has been focusing on building a cycle of “funding-investment-exit” over the past few years, having started to create a fund worth over 100 billion won in 2014. The company is now managing 11 funds.

Assets for investment are allocated to biotech and healthcare, information and communication technologies, contents media and consumption goods, and portfolio companies include Big Hit Entertainment, Kakao Games, EO Flow and Toolgen. Total investment has grown from 76.3 billion won in 2013 to 92.5 billion won in 2020.

The firm also has done well with exits, delivering three times on returns and earning carried interest for seven straight years. In 2020, the firm exited 21 companies and retrieved 140.3 billion won. Its exit from Kakao Games, formerly Engine, retrieved 51.6 billion won with a multiple of 10.32 times from the 2015 investment of 5 billion won.

“We aim to invest more than 150 billion won this year, maintaining our sector-based allocation strategy,” an official at LB Investment said. (Reporting by Jong-hye Lee)