Korean News
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…

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…

KrowdPop Aims to Follow in Footsteps of Another Global Korean Startup Winner In Geneva
2014년 08월 06일

Originally posted by Business Korea Seedstars World (SSW) recently held its regional startup contest which was last year won by Flitto, who went on to win the Global final in Geneva last winter. This year’s Seoul winner,Krowd Pop, aims to follow up this monumental first success in similar style. KrowdPop is a K-Pop concert service provider that has utilized crowdsourcing to take the risk out of holding overseas pop concerts by asking…

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…

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…

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…

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….

Meet Eight Accelerators in Seoul That Aim To Change The Fortunes of Startups in Korea and Beyond
2014년 07월 05일

The Korean startup ecosystem has been exploding over the last couple of years. As more interesting startups begin to emerge, so the support services to power their success also become more diverse and more mature. There are a number of key accelerator programs in Seoul now, that offer a range of services and finance for early stage Korean companies. Interestingly there is also now a distinct push towards helping Korean startups connect…

Korean Government To Turn Its Back On Microsoft… And Use What Instead, Hangul?
2014년 07월 03일

As has been reported widely in Asia, South Korea is using the fact that Windows XP is no longer supported as a reason to walk away from Microsoft completely. While the rational for this stance makes sense; updating to new versions of the Microsoft software can be expensive and time-consuming, the government should also immediately discontinue its use of Hangul. Hangul is a Korean software package similar to MS Office that is used as the default (and…

Microsoft Lining Itself Up For Failure In The Tough Korean Search Market
2014년 07월 02일

Microsoft recently announced that it intends to fully enter the Korean internet search market later this year. This does not seem wise in a market that has been utterly dominated by Korean players for over a decade. Yahoo withdrew from the market after a fifteen year failed push into Korea. Google has fared a little better, having now climbed to around 10% – 15% market share, but it has been a long…

FuturePlay, Korea’s Newest High-Tech incubator Opens Its Doors to Inventors and Engineers
2014년 07월 02일

Junghee Ryu is a rare breed of Korean entrepreneur. Not only did he found a tech company that sold to Intel, but now he has decided to reinvest his returns into the Korean startup ecosystem and has opened his high-tech accelerator, FuturePlay, for business. Junghee founded Olaworks, an augmented reality technology company in 2006 and sold the company to Intel in 2012 for a reported $30M. Olaworks and a Silicon Valley-based tech company, both of which…

Merged Korean Gaming Powerhouses Launch Joint Gaming Platform to Combat Kakao & Line
2014년 07월 01일

Korean gaming giants, Gamevil and Com2us, which were in fierce competition for the last 15 years, are now actively seeking to create synergy in line with their M&A deal that we reported last year. Following Gameville’s acquisition of Com2us, the two firms have working towards release of their new combined platform HIVE, which is now live. After struggling against the huge success of KakaoTalk’s gaming platform (released in July 2012), the two companies…

A Team of Korean Neuroscientists and Engineers Develops Wearable Tech To Combat Effects of Alzheimers
2014년 06월 23일

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
2014년 06월 19일

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…

Coupang, A Korean Next-Gen E-commerce Platform Raises $100M From Sequoia Capital, Reaches $1Bn Valuation
2014년 05월 29일

Coupang, a leader in next generation e-commerce based in Seoul Korea, has raised $100 million in financing led by Sequoia Capital, with participation by existing investors Greenoaks Capital Management, Rose Park’s Disruptive Innovation Fund and LaunchTime. This investment comes at a time when rumours about a possible IPO at some point in 2015 abound in the local Korean startup ecosystem, and follows in the same week that Korea’s other ‘mega-startup,’ Kakao Corp….

Kakao-Daum – The Next Big Thing From Korea?
2014년 05월 28일

I have been following the story of Kakao Corp closely over the last two years and its been an interesting ride so far, due to get much more so with the merger announced this week on betech.asia. While ‘many’ are confused about the benefits of a rising Kakao merging with Daum Communications, an internet portal in decline, I believe that there are a few key factors that ‘many’ are missing. Kakao Corp. – A Brief Intro: Kakao Corp…