The Korean Mafia appeared in the Los Angeles scene – but instead of guns they are equipped with ventures. Korean first-generation venture capitalists have gotten together and named themselves the Korea Tech Mafia.
Strong Venture’s co-CEO Kihong Bae shared a post on his own blog titled, “The reason LA is better than Silicon Valley” introducing the Korean venture network.
The Korea Tech Mafia (K-Mafia for short) includes David Lee, the CEO of Angel VC which has invested in over 500 companies in Silicon Valley, Michael Yang who has successfully launched three ventures including Mysimon.com, and Peter Lee, the CEO of “Baroda Ventures” which invests in start-up companies in Los Angeles. Brian Lee, the CEO of Jessica Alba’s start up Honest and Co-Founder of BAM Ventures, is a part of the Korea Tech Mafia as well. Honest is being evaluated at over 1 billion dollars and has thus become a “unicorn” (a company worth over a billion dollars).
CEO Kihong Bae revealed, “Korean CEOs as well as investors are keeping close contact with each other to update and share information on start-ups.We intend to help Korean companies as well as invest in them when possible; hence the name K Mafia.” Kihong is of the opinion that Los Angeles is the perfect market for Korean start-ups entering the global market.
Firstly it is more familiar to Koreans because Korean culture and language is widely used in the area and also because of the fact that many U.S branches of Korean brands are located in Southern California. Many industries such as fashion and sales have the opportunity to flourish while being surrounded by the content and entertainment industry of Hollywood. The bright minds who graduate from the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), Univeristy of Southern California (USC), and California, and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) also present start-ups with opportunities to scout for young bright minds.
It is expected that with the help of K-Mafia, Los Angeles’ Koreatown will turn into the second Silicon Valley.
Disclosure: Strong Ventures and BAM Ventures are investors in Koreaboo.
Source: Korea Daily