Korea
As Sparklabs’ Fourth Batch Kicks Off, What Can We Can Expect From The Teams?
2014년 09월 25일

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…

Kakao Launches Kakao Pay With LG CNS – A New Era For Online Payments?
2014년 09월 05일

Kakao, the provider of KakaoTalk, a mobile messaging application and global mobile social platform, in partnership with global IT service provider LG CNS, has announced the launch of KakaoPay, a new mobile payment option for KakaoTalk users in South Korea. With over 93 percent of smartphone users in Korea currently using KakaoTalk, the new service is expected to provide a significant boost to Korea’s growing e-commerce industry. Kakao’s latest venture into the e-commerce/mobile payment space underscores…

As Google Commits To New Seoul Campus And Overseas Interest Intensifies Samsung Remains Absent From Local Scene
2014년 08월 28일

Google, on an international mission to rapidly connect with the global startup community, has recently announced that it will open a startup campus in Seoul, Korea next year. This comes at a time when Korean entrepreneurs are beginning to prove that they have what it takes to make an impact, as exemplified by a statement from Google’s Bridgette Beam: “Korean innovators and entrepreneurs are some of the best in Asia, and Korean startups are making headlines around…

Korea’s Top Messeging App, Kakao, Named “Technology Pioneer 2015” by World Economic Forum
2014년 08월 27일

The award has recognized the company’s ability to ‘harness creativity and shape an impactful mobile ecosystem’ Kakao, the provider of KakaoTalk, Korea’s leading mobile messaging application and mobile social platform, has been named a 2015 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, making it the first Korean company to be recognized since 2001. Chosen from among 24 of the world’s leading technology organizations, the award recognizes the company’s ability to design transformative technological…

Korea’s Top Bitcoin Startup Raises $3 Million to Expand Bitcoin Adoption in Korea & Beyond
2014년 08월 27일

Korbit, Korea’s leading bitcoin exchange, wallet and merchant processor, has just closed a $3 million Series A funding round led by SoftBank Ventures Korea. Pantera Capital led the round from the US, with participation from BAM Ventures and previous investors Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., Tim Draper, Pietro Dova and initial investor Strong Ventures. Korbit launched their bitcoin exchange last year and have now added two new bitcoin services and aim to continue building the…

Korean Startup 5Rocks Acquired By Mobile Monetization And Ad-tech Firm Tapjoy
2014년 08월 06일

Mobile monetization and ad-tech firm Tapjoy has today announced that they have acquired Korean analytics and marketing automation firm 5Rocks.  5Rocks enables user segmentation, cohort analysis by app behaviour, purchase patterns, social activity, referral channel and more, and notifies developers when there are various anomalies detected in their data. Additionally, it had previously received US$2.3 million in funding from Japan’s Global Brain, after James Jung (CEO, beSUCCESS)  made an introduction at beLAUNCH 2013. “5Rocks is…

Korean Digital Rewards Service, Spoqa, Raises $2M To expand Into Japan
2014년 08월 05일

Spoqa is a Seoul-based startup that operates Dodo Points, a tablet-based loyalty platform for local merchants. Since its launch in April 2012, 1,500 local merchants in Korea signed up and Spoqa has driven 2.5 million customers to its partner merchants. Today the company has announced that it has closed its second round of funding, putting its total funding raised to $3.9M US dollars. With this round, Spoqa aims to aggressively expand its…

Kakao Wallet, A New Mobile Payments Solution From Kakao Corp. Should be Here in Septmber
2014년 07월 23일

Kakao Corp., the company behind Korea’s biggest mobile messaging platform, aims to launch a wallet service in the next few months. This is the most recent addition to the Kakao platform, as the company continues to diversify its portfolio of services for users. It is hoped that Kakao Corp.’s namesake payment platform ‘Bank Wallet Kakao’ will help boost the ironically nascent mobile wallet industry in South Korea. Ironic, because Korea is praised…

Seoul City Plans To Ban Uber, While Planning Launch Of Its Own Smartphone Taxi Service
2014년 07월 22일

Is Korea once again employing protectionist policies rather than embracing the opportunity presented by progress? Seoul is proud of being labelled one of the the most progressive tech-focused cities in the world. The capital has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world. Its residents are well-known for their rapid tech adoption. Additionally it’s administration has been pushing a move towards innovation and tech development. However,  Uber will likely be…

Rumours of a Line Corp. Public Listing Intensify on Information Leaked by ‘Insiders’
2014년 07월 22일

After a period of rampant speculations it has been reported that Line Corp.,which now boasts almost half a billion users, has filed confidentially for an initial offering in the U.S. It is expected that the company will seek a dual-listing in New York and Tokyo. This, according to a report our on Bloomberg. While the details have not been released publicly by Line, it is believed that Morgan Stanley (MS) is managing the listing…

Korea’s Entrepreneurs Garner Global Validation As Local ‘Startup’ Valuations Soar Into The Billions
2014년 07월 21일

This article was co-authored by Alan McGlade (Digital Entertainment Ventures) and Nathan Millard (beSUCCESS) and appeared on Forbes on July 18 2014. As little as five years ago Korea’s startup scene was undistinguished, but now the nation has taken an important step towards establishing itself as a key technology hub in the Asia Pacific region and an essential partner for global investors and tech businesses. Two young Korean startups have gained the…

Foreign-Owned NYK Media Group Helps Korean Startups and SMEs Communicate Effectively in English
2014년 07월 17일

“Touch Your Customers… Appropriately” Does the English in the above picture seem awkward to you? Let’s take a moment to look at it. There are no misspellings. The grammar is correct. But there is something definitely strange about telling a potential customer that your company “can touch anywhere”. Touch what exactly, and for what purpose? I guess we will have to use our imagination, but in this case first impressions will certainly…

Softbank Ventures Korea and Qualcomm Ventures invest into last-mile online delivery service “Naldo”
2014년 07월 16일

Naldo today announced its Series A investment from Softbank Ventures Korea and Qualcomm Ventures. After an initial angel funding in 2013 this is the first major investment for Naldo. Funding will allow for faster scaling along sales, marketing and product-development. Currently Naldo’s service is available in and around the Seoul metropolitan area in South Korea. Naldo provides immediate delivery of any item that needs to get delivered within a maximum time-frame 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…

Working in Korea as a Foreigner: Understanding Korean Visas
2014년 07월 15일

As Korea continues to brand itself as a startup nation, increasingly foreigners are becoming interested in joining Korean startups or even starting up their own venture in Korea. But getting visas in Korea for entrepreneurial endeavours can be daunting and is often tied up with red tape, as the government grapples with the best way forward to open Korea to foreign workers in the tech and startup space. A few of the…

Korean Food Delivery & Marketing Are Going Digital, Present Huge Growth Opportunity For Innovators
2014년 07월 14일

You need only check out professional eaters on YouTube or Psy’s latest video to see that eating is a national obsession in Korea. What’s more, metropolitan Seoul is active 24 hours a day and is home to around 26 million people. Taking this into account its not surprising that the market size for the restaurant sector is around $60Bn per year, with more than 500,000 restaurants open for business. The area of…

Korean Navigation Company, KimGisa, Plans Stage 1 in Asia location-based Marketing Takeover
2014년 07월 11일

Imagine if department stores in busy urban shopping districts could lock-in customers travelling into the area, before they even arrived. Kimgisa, a navigation app developed by Korean startup locNall aims to be the No. 1 player in the navigation and location-based marketing industry in Asia and make that marketing dream a reality. The team has already started working with large clients like Incheon International Airport to deliver targeted marketing to airport visitors…

International Startup Team From LG & Google Raises $1M To Trounce Dropbox In Developing Markets
2014년 07월 10일

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…

Mbite, Korean Provider of Game Illustrators’ Platform, Receives Cash Investment from Global Brain
2014년 07월 08일

Global Brain, an early and growth stage investor from Tokyo has just announced its most recent investment in a Korean startup. The “GB-V Growth Fund Investment Limited Partnership” managed by Global Brain Corporation, has invested an undisclosed amount in Mbite Inc., from Seoul, Korea. Founded in 2011 MBite is a global provider of game illustrators’ matching platform “rainbow.dot”. The fresh finances will be used to bolster R&D capabilities and hire a global sales team….