Seoul– Seoul was ranked the ninth best city for launching a startup in an annual report published on Monday by a US startup research firm, the highest spot the city has ever achieved.

The ‘2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report’ by Startup Genome, which surveyed 300 cities across 100 nations, ranked Seoul as ninth strongest in the startup ecosystem category, up from 12th last year and 10th in 2022.

Tokyo and Shanghai were ranked 10th and 11th, respectively, while Silicon Valley of the US topped the list, followed by New York and London, which were jointly ranked second, reports Yonhap news agency.

The report put the value of Seoul’s startup ecosystem at 308 trillion won ($223.4 billion), marking more than a fivefold increase from 54 trillion won in 2021, the city officials noted.

The existence of around 20 “unicorn” firms, or unlisted startups valued at over $1 billion, including Danggeun Market and Shift Up, was analysed as having influenced the 2024 ranking.

In the five assessment categories for the ranking, the capital received a full score of 10 in fundraising and nine in three other areas: ecosystem activities, creativity experience and talent nurturing, and knowledge accumulation.

In the fundraising category, Seoul was ranked No. 1 among Asian cities. The report cited AI, big data, analytics, bioscience, high-tech manufacturing and robotics as areas in which Seoul is dominant in terms of the startup ecosystem.

Tel Aviv has moved up one rank and is now tied with Los Angeles at the 4th slot. The top two Chinese ecosystems have dropped in the overall rankings: Beijing by one place and Shanghai by two, now standing at 8th and 11th spot, respectively. However, Shenzhen has shown impressive growth, moving up seven spots to rank 28th. (IANS)