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Rakuten Ventures’ Saemin Ahn Discusses Investment Strategy For Asia And North America
2014년 10월 29일

Saemin Ahn leads Rakuten Venture’s strategy and investments in South East Asia, Korea and North America. The size of the current fund is $100 million. Saemin previously led a $10 million fund focused on Singapore, Rakuten’s first in the region. I caught up with him in Seoul to find out where his current VC passions are focused. Currently Rakuten Ventures has invested in once Korean startup, file sharing service, ESTMob. On Discovering Startups…

This Korean Startup Is Capitalizing On K-Pop Fever, Attracts 1 Million Users in 7 months
2014년 10월 27일

In many countries KPop and other Korean cultural content, such as dramas and movies are all the rage. While much of this content is available on YouTube and services like DramFever and Viki, there is also a plethora of online music services tapping in to the popularity of KPop music. Beat Packing Company is a new startup in the space that aims to bring KPop to the world through their online music…

Softbank Ventures Assesses The Korean Startup Ecosystem
2014년 10월 25일

Softbank Ventures Korea is one of the most established and successful Venture Capital companies in Korea. Outstanding successes include Sundaytoz and Sunnyloft (acquired by Kakao), and there are dozens of other portfolio companies that are rising stars in the Korean scene. Softbank Ventures is a 100% subsidiary of Softbank Corp. in Japan and manages a $250M fund. The fund is based in Korea, but they take care of investments across Asia and…

Seoul’s Third Startup Grind A Huge Success, Next Up Alvin Foo (Ex-Head of Mobile for Google China)
2014년 10월 24일

“It’s all about hiring the right person!” stated Jake  Park, CEO of Value Creators & Company, VCNC, for short. VCNC is a Korean mobile application and internet services company that develops “Between,” a mobile social-networking application for couples. Between was created to enable couples to share their special moments with each other and remember them forever. It’s Thursday night in Gangnam and time to network with fellow entrepreneurs from Seoul’s startup community,…

Meet Yello Mobile, Aiming To Be Asia’s Top Mobile Platform Company [Part 2]
2014년 10월 24일

Only three years after the first acquisition Yello Mobile has raised $78M, is nurturing an alliance of 35 startups, is profitable to the tune of $1.5M per month and plans to IPO next year. This is surely one of the most exciting startup stories in Asia this year. Here is part two of a two part article about their founding story, growth, and ambitious plans for the future. Click here for part…

Yello Mobile – Perhaps Asia’s most Exciting Startup Story This Year [Part. 1]

Only three years after the first acquisition Yello Mobile has raised $78M, is nurturing an alliance of 35 startups, is profitable to the tune of $1.5M per month and plans to IPO next year. This is surely one of the most exciting startup stories in Asia this year. Here is part one of a two part article about their founding story, growth, and ambitious plans for the future. Part 2 coming tomorrow….

Wit.ai Raises $3M Seed Round Led By Andreessen Horowitz, Eyes Opportunity In Korea

As reported by TechCrunch, natural language platform wit.ai has announced a $3M seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz in a deal that has emerged shortly after the team graduated from Y Combinator. The company is tackling a need for smart speech recognition and natural language processing services, which are becomming a thriving industry thanks in part to the boom in IoT technologies. Wit.ai offers developers an API for building natural language interfaces. For startups that currently…

OnnuriDMC Develops Tech To Track Mobile Users In Real Time, Mobile Advertisers Rejoice
2014년 10월 08일

Sparklabs fourth batch recently kicked off and I had the chance to speak with one of their most promising startups, OnnuriDMC. OnnuriDMC operates a mobile advertising platform, CrossTarget, that the founders believe has solved a major issue for mobile advertisers; being able to track users in the mobile app environment in real time. Background In the PC environment advertisers are able to easily track user behavior through cookies, but this is generally…

As Sparklabs’ Fourth Batch Kicks Off, What Can We Can Expect From The Teams?

SparkLabs, one of Seoul’s leading accelerators, has recently started its fourth session and over the next three months will be assisting in the growth of another ten startup companies.  The ten companies range from healthcare to Internet of Things to social enterprise. “Our fourth class ranges from bootstrapped companies with products at their alpha stage to those that raised a couple million and are shipping their product, but every team we selected is…

As ‘Silicon Valley Mindset’ Takes Hold In Korea Samsung Employees Leave To Found A Startup
2014년 09월 24일

David Lee and Ryan Kwon, founders of a new startup Mobidoo, had hit the career jackpot by securing lucrative roles in Samsung. But chasing a bigger dream, but have now left to start their own company. While stories like this are still rare, they demonstrate a growing number of Koreans who are embracing the ‘Silicon Valley mindset.’  These brave young people are embracing the risk and opportunity presented by entrepreneurship instead of…

Taiwanese Startup WritePath Secures $500k, Expands EdTech Solutions for Korean Students
2014년 07월 15일

Writepath Inc. has recently secured $500k from B-Dash Ventures and Pinehurst Advisors. The team intends to use the funds to further expand into Asian markets outside their base of Taiwan, with a focus on the huge opportunity in Korea. Founded in 2009 WritePath provides multi-lingual editing services and online translation solutions. Currently the company serves 22 countries and has three services in the market. One such, Top Admit, is now being touted…

실리콘밸리 출신 쇼핑 앱 ‘위시(Wish)’, 한국 국민쇼핑앱 자리 노립니다 – 컨텍스트로직코리아 백명현 대표
  ·  2014년 07월 14일

2014년 상반기 모바일 쇼핑 앱 이용자 수가 올 1월을 기점으로 하루 평균 천만 명을 넘어섰다. 국내 인구수가 5천만 명을 조금 넘는 수준인 것을 고려한다면 5명 중 1명은 쇼핑 앱을 사용한다는 이야기가 된다. 워낙 규모가 크고 잠재 고객이 많은 시장이기에 대기업·스타트업이 너나 할 것 없이 모바일 앱을 내놓고 있지만, 아직 시장의 절대 강자는 등장하지 않은 상황이다. 이러한 시점에, 실리콘밸리 발(發) 글로벌 쇼핑 앱인 ‘위시(Wish)’가 5천만 달러(한화 약 500억 원)의 투자를 유치했다는 소식을 알려왔다….

International Startup Team From LG & Google Raises $1M To Trounce Dropbox In Developing Markets

Hearing about employees giving up their highly-prized, stable, and well-paid corporate careers in Korea’s tech behemoths used to be incredibly rare. But the young team at ASDTech has done exactly that, choosing to give up salaries of well over $100k for the excitement and promise of entrepreneurship. Having founded ASDTech in 2013 after leaving LG Electronics, they developed their while-label cloud service, ‘Cloudike’, and have now secured their first major clients. Furthermore they have…

A Team of Korean Neuroscientists and Engineers Develops Wearable Tech To Combat Effects of Alzheimers

A team of Korean Engineers, PhD-level Neuro-scientists and ex-Googlers is taking on one of the most feared brain diseases we face in the modern age. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) kills around 500,000 each year and the cost of care globally is estimated at $220Bn per annum. While this degenerative disease has no cure, YBrain has developed a solution for slowing the affects, with a rate of success believed to be greater than any…

Korean personalized Travel Guide Service, MyRealTrip, Raises $980k, Plans China Expansion

MyRealTrip, a Korean startup that provides overseas travelers with personalized guided tours in thier mother tongue has just announced their third round of funding. SmileGate Investment led the round, contributing 70% of the funding, with Capstone Partners joining. This Series A round has provided an injection of almost $1M to help the company build out their Android and iOS mobile apps and expand to include Chinese travelers visiting Korea, as well as…

25 Year Old Korean Startup CEO Nets $2.5M Investment To Connect Fashion Addicts to Retailers
2014년 05월 27일

StyleShare CEO Jayoung Yoon is only 25 years old, but has built a formidable fashion and style platform and has just secured a further $2.5M to expand her vision globally. This series B investment from LB Investment follows a seed round from Primer (20M KRW), and a seed round from Suprema & the founder of Daum ($08.M). StyleShare as a mobile fashion contents platform that allows users to share what they are…

Korean ‘Hello Market’ Raises $2.5M to Augment Their C2C Buying Platform In Asia

Hello Market, who have just announced their first funding round of $2.5M, is a C2C marketplace platform service that allows users to sell, buy, and exchange goods and services through mobile platforms (Android, iOS) as well as the web. According to Co-Founder Alber Hahn their goal now is to continue to apply, update, and expand upon the craigslist C2C commerce model, with a current focus on further expansion into Japan. The Hello Market…

beLAUNCH 2014 Speakers Provide Their Feedback An Amazing Event For Asian Startups and Tech, May 14-15
2014년 05월 09일

I got in touch with some of our top speakers in the run-up to beLAUNCH next week and was quite blown away by their enthusiasm for coming to Seoul to see for themselves why Korea is blowing up in the global startup consciousness. Below are a few of these quotations: Eric Migicovsky, CEO Pebble “It has been interesting to see the emergence of Korea as one of the most important high-tech nations…

An Angel’s Perspective on Investing In Korean Startups
2014년 05월 05일

Aviram Jenik is a rare entrepreneurial breed in Korea. He has built and exited two global companies and his third venture, Beyond Security, is working steadily towards an IPO in the US. In his free time Aviram makes Angel Investments in and coaches Korean entrepreneurs. I caught up with him recently to learn about his experiences as an Angel Investor in Korea. Disclaimer: Ok, before you think you’ve missed something, Aviram is…

K CUBE Ventures: How This VC Became a Startup’s Best Friend

Investing in Korean startups can be a tough job for Venture Capitalists. Despite amazing growth over the last two to three in the venture ecosystem, we will have to wait for a further five years or more to see the fruits of this second push for a creative economy in Korea over the last ten years. As we know, VCs base their earning potential on few successful investments that can generate enormous…