asia
Pet Care In Korea Gets A Boost, As K Cube Ventures Invests In ‘Companimals’
2014년 10월 29일

Despite a rather dodgy name that mashes ‘companion and animals’, Companimals is showing promise, capitalizing on a rapidly growing pet market in Korea. The Seoul-based startup has just announced a $400k investment from K Cube Ventures to make pets and their owners in Korea more happy. While Koreans love their pets, it is a country where people barely have time to look after themselves, so services that can please pets and owners…

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…

Yes Challenge Korea For Young Asian Entrepreneurs – Last Chance to Apply
2014년 10월 28일

SMBA & KOVA will jointly host 2014 YES Challenge Korea in Seoul, November 16-21. This global event is designed to inspire young entrepreneurs under the slogan, “Make it possible! Yes Challenger!” Attendees will build a range of skills including global problem-solving for social change and entrepreneurship. This will be facilitated through workshops and sharing sessions. Over 30 executives and entrepreneurs will appear at the event to share their insights and demonstrate their technologies & share their experiences of…

Mobile Game ‘Cookie Run’ from Devsisters Delivers Pay Day to Investors In ‘Secret IPO’

Devsisters, the darling of Korean gaming over the last two years has listed its stock publically in what has been one of the most down played IPOs I am aware of. In fact, so down played that I wasn’t aware of it until today. At the time of the IPO the company valuation was $627 million, ranking the it 32nd most valuable company in Korea. The IPO happened on October 6th. Devsisters…

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…

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…

Korean Adaptive Learning Platform KnowRe Secures $6.8 Million From Softbank
2014년 10월 23일

KnowRe, a Korean education technology company with a cloud-based adaptive learning program for secondary mathematics has just secured $6.8 million in a funding round led by Softbank Ventures. KTB Network Co., LTD, Partners Investment, SparkLabs Global Ventures and a number of other investors joined the round. KnowRe launched in March 2014 after a year-long beta period in which the company hosted a successful pilot program involving dozens of middle and high schools in…

Softbank Ventures Has Invested To Connect Korean Foodies To The Restaurants They Crave
2014년 10월 23일

MangoPlate announced today a series A funding round from Softbank Ventures Korea. As described on their Google Play download page, “MangoPlate is your go-to app for discovering the best restaurants in South Korea. Available in English and Korean, MangoPlate will help you resolve your daily problem of where to eat by connecting you with trustworthy people as well as the best restaurants in South Korea.” Ryan Lee, Executive Director at Softbank Ventures Korea…

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….

Seven Curated Stories From The Korean Tech Industry This Week
2014년 10월 20일

  Samsung Ties Up With SK To Develop 5G   South Korea’s top mobile carrier, SK Telecom, said they are partnering with Samsung to develop the 5G industry, seeking early advancement in one of the highly watched mobile sectors. “We signed an MOU to conduct joint research in network technologies and new services related to the 5G,” SK Telecom said. The company currently dominates half of the local mobile market. World First LTE Tech…

Softbank Ventures Korea Hold Their Second Annual Forum In Seoul
2014년 10월 18일

On October 16, SoftBank Ventures Korea held their second annual forum which presents their portfolio companies and vision to invited guests and the press. Our friends at Buzzvil, also a portfolio company of Softbank, were there to record the action. SoftBank Ventures Korea, a subsidiary of Softbank Corp. in Japan, is one of the most established early stage investment companies in Korea and their annual Forum showcased their portfolio companies for press and…

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…

Weekly Korean Tech Round-up – 7 News Items That Caught Our Eye
2014년 10월 13일

Kakao Talk Promises that encrypted messeging will be available this year Daum Kakao, the operator of South Korea’s most popular mobile messenger Kakao Talk, said it plans to adopt a “privacy mode” in an apparent bid to allay users’ concerns about security. There has been much in the Korean press on this matter recently and Telegram has been making the most of the situation, garning massive local suport in Korea. “The new…

In Korea’s Messenger Market, Will Security Trump Emoticons?
2014년 10월 13일

Until a couple of weeks ago Koreans had never heard of Telegram, the super-secure Berlin-based messaging app that is now causing waves. Telegram is attracting droves of Korean users away, for increased security. In Korea, KakaoTalk is installed on 95% of smartphones, and Kakao messages surpassed SMS messages a few years back. Kakao is known for its ease of use and expressive emoticons. But now Kakao, which has established a near-monopoly in Korea, is facing a serious…

Koreans Swarm To New Mobile Services, For Music, Payments And Security
2014년 10월 11일

Edited from Business Korea: Korea is once again proving to be a market where rapid adoption of new tech services (particularly mobile) can occur at phenomenal speed. Samsung’s Milk Music, Kakao Corp’s peer to peer payments service, and Berlin-based Telegram messenger are the most recent examples. These services have attracted hundreds of thousands or even millions of subscribers in the first few weeks after release in Korea, the world’s ‘most wired nation’….

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…

Korean Bitcoin Startup Devign Lab Secures Investment From K-Cube Ventures
2014년 10월 07일

K Cube Ventures, an early stage investment firm in Seoul, announced today that they have invested about $200K in Bitcoin startup ‘Devign Lab’. Devign Lab has developed a bitcoin market called Coinone. Devign Lab claims to be the first web based home trading system (HTS) in South Korea and aims to provide up to date bidding/contract information for users. Their one click payment system ‘Coinpay’ provides payment services with a 0% transaction fee. Their mobile application is currently in…

Seven News Items From Korean Tech This Week
2014년 10월 06일

1. Korea comes in 2nd place for the fastest internet speeds, 1st in other metrics According to a recent report by Akamai Technologies, South Korea’ average peak connection speed was 72.1 Mbps, lagging behind Hong Kong with 73.9 Mbps. Despite this result Korea remains top in the world for a number of other internet speed metrics including, highest average connection speed (24.6 Mbps). Hong Kong is the runner-up in this metric, at 8.9…

The English beSUCCESS Media Team is Hiring – Apply Now
2014년 09월 29일

3-month contract, with possibility of extension to a full time position Team: English Editorial Team Level: Junior team member How to apply: Please email your resume and cover letter to nathan@besuccess.com What is beSUCCCESS? beSUCCESS is Korea’s leading media and events platform that helps Korean technology startups find success beyond their domestic borders. We achieve this through media and events, as well as a wide range of other local and global initiatives….

Silicon Valley Meets Asia in San Francisco Sep 12th, Join the Global Tech Discussion at beGLOBAL
2014년 09월 05일

Korea has long been known for lightning-fast internet and mobile broadband speeds. Now the country’s startups are also garnering global recognition. In the last 12 months Korean founders have been backed by the likes of Y Combinator, Tech Stars, Sequoia Capital, Altos Ventures, and Formation 8. Two local ventures also achieved ‘Unicorn’ status (a valuation of $1Bn or more) earlier this year. Kakao Talk, the country’s dominant mobile social platform is now valued…