Korea
As Korea’s Bitcoin Indutry Matures, ‘Inside Bitcoins Conference & Expo 2014’ Comes To Seoul
2014년 11월 12일

Developments in the Bitcoin industry in Korea have been attracting both local and global interest in the last 18 months or so and now three key Bitcoin startups are rising to the challenges of bringing virtual currencies into the mainstream in the world’s most wired country. With investment from some of Silicon Valley’s key Bitcoin supporters, KORBIT has moved from operation as a Bitcoin exchange and is now addressing how to work with offline…

The World’s Most Wired ‘Smart City’ Partners with SparkLabs’ Internet of Things Program
2014년 11월 07일

SparkLabs, one of Korea’s leading accelerators, has signed a partnership agreement with the company behind South Korea’s $35 billion Songdo International Business District to launch their new Internet of Things (IoT) Accelerator in Songdo in early 2015. Songdo International Business District (Songdo IBD) is a $35 billion “smart” city built on 1,500 acres (6 sq km) of reclaimed land.  Located adjacent to Incheon International Airport on the western coast of the Korean…

Common Values Trump High-Tech, The Case Of Korean Startup ‘Lineable’
2014년 11월 06일

“Protect our children together,” calls Lineable, a new wristband that helps track missing children. The device was developed by a Korean startup, yet the slogan has resounded with parents across the globe. What is Lineable? Lineable is a wristband loaded with beacon technology that enables parents to both prevent losing their children, and if they become lost, to find them easily. But that’s not all. Due to the core technology, the more…

Check Out These Two Korean Gaming Startups That Got Funded Today
2014년 11월 05일

Gaming in Korea has enjoyed around 15 years of great success. Among Korea’s top performing gaming ‘startups’ of the last 15 to 20 years are several that have achieve well over billion dollar valuations. These include NCSoft ($1.2Bn), Nexon ($3.7Bn), Com2US ($1.3Bn), and Devsisters ($755M) which just went public this month. Smilegate, another domestic star, is still private and its estimated valuation is creeping towards $4Bn. Where other areas of software innovation…

Has Samsung Finally Realised Growth Can’t Be Achieved Without Robust M&A Strategy?
2014년 11월 05일

As reported by Business Korea, Samsung Electronics has begun to emerge as a player in the global M&A market. In just the last six months the electronics giant, most known for its smartphones, has purchased four foreign companies. The new and aggressive M&A strategy has been adopted to counter profit slumps blamed on falling demand for Samsung’s old cash-cow, smartphones. Recent industry reports suggested that Samsung has acquired caching company Proximal Data in…

Tech Crunch Tokyo Welcomes Korean Founders To Explore Opportunities In Japan
2014년 11월 04일

Big market, similar culture, high ARPU, this is what you hear about the Japanese market. But is it all true? According to Jason Wi, Senior associate of Softbank Ventures Korea, 80% of their portfolio companies are now seeking opportunities in the Japanese market, or have already entered. TechCrunch Japan will hold TechCrunch Tokyo 2014, November 18~19th in Tokyo. This event presents a great opportunity for startups from around Asia to explore the opportunities that…

Top Weekly Tech News Highlights From Korea
2014년 11월 03일

Korea, Still A Huge Opportunity For E-Commerce The amount of mobileshopping transactions is growing at an explosive pace. The mobile shopping transaction volume achieved more than 100% growth compared to a year ago, reaching near 4 trillion won (a little less than $400 million) in the third quarter of this year. According to the OnlineShopping Trend report released by the National Statistical Office on October 31, the volume of total online shopping…

Naver Enjoys Strong Revenue On The Back Of LINE Success
2014년 10월 31일

Naver, Korea’s largest search portal and parent company of the popular LINE messeging application, has sustained double-digit growth in the third quarter of this year The primary reason for this is strong revenue growth in overseas markets. The company posted sales of around $700 million for the third quarter of this year, up 22.3% on the same period last year. Operating profit for the quarter is estimated at around $188 million, also…

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…

Korean Security Startup ‘Lockin Company’ Promises High End Mobile Security For Startups
2014년 10월 29일

Lockin Company is a Korean ‘mobile application security company’ that has targeted smaller app developers who struggle to afford the more expensive app security services from larger providers. They have recently launched their cloud-based SaaS security service. How it works: App developers upload their package data with their application’s source code to Lockin’s cloud servers. the security layer is then added by Lockin’s technology and sent back to the developers, before being released…

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’
2014년 10월 28일

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…

Can Big Data Implementation In Smart Cities Resolve Issues Raised By Korea’s Ageing Population?
2014년 10월 28일

Korea’s rapidly-aging society, compounded by a decrease in overall population are major issues that Korea is facing. But according to Cisco System’s Dominic Scott, “the solutions lie in big data and Internet of Everything.” He was speaking at the Big Data World Convention, which was recently held at the BEXCO Convention Center in Busan City. Scott explained that the value of a big data network is equivalent to a square of the…

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…

Stripes Brings Buying a Shirt Into The Digital World, Raises Series A Investment From Smilegate Ventures
2014년 10월 24일

Stripes is a personal tailoring service that has connected consumers to tailors in the offline space, through technology. They just announced series A Investment from Smilegate Ventures, in a funding round worth $1 million. This is not a new concept and there are dozens of similar services across the world. In fact a friend of mine struck upon the idea around fifteen years ago back in London. What Stripes has though, is first…

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]
2014년 10월 23일

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….