About Us_bak

500 Startups is Based in Silicon Valley, but We’re All Over the World.

Our Mission

Discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs,

help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems.


500 Startups Korea (and our VC fund, 500 Kimchi) was founded in 2015 by Tim Chae, a Partner at 500 Startups (and former Entrepreneur-in-Residence in ’13-’14). We actively invest $100-250K in 15-20 new Korean startups a year. We invest in both global and domestic market focused startups. Along with our investment, we bring Silicon Valley best practices to the local ecosystem – simple concepts like Silicon Valley standard financing documents (START Docs), to more sophisticated areas like growth marketing, fundraising, and getting to an exit. We believe Seoul can become the global technology hub of Asia, and are working hard – like the talented entrepreneurs we invest in – to help make that happen.


We are a global venture capital seed fund with a network of startup programs headquartered in Silicon Valley with over $330M in committed capital across 19 funds (including Korea). We have invested in 2,210 technology startups all over the world since our inception in 2010 including: Twilio (NYSE: TWLO), Credit Karma, Grab, Udemy, Ipsy, TalkDesk, Intercom, MakerBot (acq’d by SSYS), Wildfire (acq’d by GOOG), and Viki (acq’d by Rakuten).

Our team of 140 people based in 20 countries manage seed investments across 70 countries and speak over 25 languages. The 500 Seed Program emphasizes internet marketing and customer acquisition, design and user experience, and lean startup practices and metrics in San Francisco, Mountain View, and Mexico City. The 500 Series A Program delivers growth marketing and investment for post-seed and pre-Series A companies and runs in multiple locations globally, including Seoul.

In addition to investments, we are passionate about helping build viable startup ecosystems around the world and run educational programs, events and conferences, and partnerships globally. Our investment team and mentor network has operational experience at companies such as PayPal, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Uber, YouTube, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter and Apple.


  • 500 Startups was founded in 2010.
  • Christine Tsai, co-founder of 500, is currently the CEO of 500 Startups.
  • 500 Startups Korea was founded by former 500S Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Tim Chae in 2015.
  • Our global team of 140 people live in 20 countries and speak over 25 languages.
  • We have invested in over 2.210 startups that have come from more than 70 countries.
  • Every year 8,000+ startups around the world apply for ~200 spots in our Seed Program and Series A Program, which is an acceptance rate of < 3% – in other words, it’s tougher to get into 500 Startups than Harvard, MIT, or Stanford.
  • Our HQ offices are in Mountain View and San Francisco. We have teams in Bahrain, Bangalore, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Delhi, Ho Chi Minh City, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Riyadh, São Paulo, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Toronto, and Tokyo.
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Meet the 500 Startups Korea team

We’re looking forward to meeting you