When SparkLabs launched, it was with the goal of nurturing South Korea's growing start-up community. Now the incubator is expanding that mission to include funding companies in Israel, Sweden, Germany, China, and even Southeast Asia.
That's according to TechCrunch's Catherine Shu, who reports that SparkLabs launched a new $30 million seed-stage fund this week helmed by the likes of SparkLabs co-founder Bernard Moon, ex-Facebook executive Net Jacobsson, and Frank Meehan, previously of Horizon Ventures.
"Jimmy Kim, John Lee, Jay McCarthy, and I were planning to launch an angel fund covering Asia and the U.S.," said Moon in the press release. "When the opportunity came to partner with Frank and Net on an angel fund, it was a no-brainer."
The fund will identify burgeoning start-up communities where companies are looking to scale into international markets, says Shu. SparkLabs is especially keen on Indonesia, where developer talent is plentiful, and Israel, Sweden, and Germany, where start-up ecosystems are beginning to take shape.
To date, SparkLabs has invested in 16 start-ups, most of which are in South Korea and founded by people who were born or educated in America. As Max Chafkin reported last year, the start-up culture in South Korea is such that it isn't uncommon for people to spend 42 hours a week on the job or sleep on a small foldup futon next to their desk. Many of these countries are export powerhouses and offer employees some of the best jobs, training, and stability they'll ever find.
That might be why SparkLabs wants in on them.