Virtual pet app Hello Pet receives investment from K Cube Ventures

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Mobile, internet and technology investment specialists, K Cube Ventures has invested US$250k (KRW 300m) into Apple Pie Studies, a startup dealing in social pet services. Apple Pie Studios allows users to interact and nurture for virtual pets through their social pet service, HelloPet.

Kan Ho Young the company representative utilises his diverse experience covering social and language to mingle colleagues from various aspects of the business covering planning, development and operations from the client, server and associated technologies.

Through a smartphone platform, HelloPet is able to provide a realistic pet nurturing experience and with its surround awareness technology, the social pet service is able to learn and aid the user with their smartphone usage patterns.

Since starting in August last year, HelloPet has been downloaded more than 100k times and is quickly gaining popularity with users currently the 4th most popular social app in Google Play Store.

The cute pet characters have been developed by applying 2D animation. The virtual pets move around the smartphone screen in response to the user's touch and further interacts through commands like “sit”, “shake” and “wait”. HelloPet allows friends to be added by contact book, Google Plus and Facebook where the apps social networking abilities allows users to interact with friends and send messages.

Unlike other pet applications on the market, HelloPet has applied ‘Overlay Screen’ technology allowing the virtual pets to roam the screen without running the app separately. The technology works by launching a separate layer screen above normal smartphone operations.

The application also possesses context awareness and the virtual pet is able to assist the user with day to day smartphone tasks. The smart agent abilities provide useful lifestyle information like mail, weather and news whilst providing notifications for calls and messages.

Further to the dog and cat characters, Apple Pie Studios plans to expand the variety of characters offered to include emoticons, other animals and webtoons. The technologies in surrounding awareness and context awareness will be further refined to enable application into other services. The plans include developing ability for characters to sympathise and release a global version in the near future.

Kang Ho Kyoung from Apple Pie Studio said, “Our aim is to surpass being a simple nurturing app be recognised as a smart social pet service providing joy and increased convenience to its users by delivering relevant information in our daily lives”.

Jung Shin Ah from K Cube Ventures said, “The biggest differentiator to other existing pet service apss is the technologies of screen overlay, context and surrounding awareness. We are excited to see developments of services that will further benefit everyday users".

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