Korean News
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…

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…

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…

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….

Meet These Korean Startups Pursuing Opportunity In China
2014년 10월 22일

During my time working with Korean startups there has been an almost universal fear of the dangers of entry to the Chinese market. But as Korean founders become more globally minded, and more confident in themselves, fear is being replaced with confidence and success stories are beginning to emerge. In addition, Chinese-Korean relations have never been better, and I expect that in the years to come great opportunities for cross-border opportunity will…

Is The Korean Government Doing Too Much in Support Of Entrepreneurship?
2014년 10월 22일

“We look forward to another success story with startups here in Daejon,” said President Park Geun-hye during a ceremony to launch yet another innovation center in Korea. While government support for Korean startups has been impressive, is it time for the politicians to take a step back? At some point the ecosystem must be allowed to develop of its own volition and startups surviving off the back of government handouts alone must…

Korean Consumers Swing Back To Apple Thanks To Larger Screen Sizes
2014년 10월 21일

It has been widely reported that Apple’s market penetration has been waining in Korea, in the face of extreme local competition from Samsung and LG. However, a mobile open market research report from Goodmobile has shown that Apple is perhaps back in favor with Korean consumers. After the release of the iPhone in Korea Apple enjoyed a sustained period of popularity, but in the last couple of years the US manufacturers favor…

Three Updates on Korea’s Messaging Privacy War, Kakao Tells Government “No”
2014년 10월 21일

KakaoTalk Confirms They Will NOT Comply with Government Wiretapping Warrants A cyber censorship battle is being waged between the private and public sectors. Daum Kakao CEO Sirgoo Lee in particular has been embroiled in the controversy over cyber surveillance. He explained why he will not comply with government demands for records held on KakaoTalk, citing user privacy as his priority:  “I’ve honored court warrants for eavesdropping so far, but wiretapping warrants violate the law….

After Resounding Success in Beta, The World’s Top Couple App ‘Between’ Launches On PC
2014년 10월 20일

VCNC, the developers behind couples app Between today announced the release of their PC version. The world’s leading mobile couples’ app was previously only available on iOS and Android. The addition of the PC version will enable couples to continue their conversations on their desktop or laptop computers. “As the leading platform for couples, we can not ignore the 8 hours that couples spend daily on desktop computers. The development of Between’s PC version…

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…

Wit.ai Raises $3M Seed Round Led By Andreessen Horowitz, Eyes Opportunity In Korea
2014년 10월 17일

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…