Korean News
Tribeluga, Korea’s Newest Startup Accelerator, Opens It’s Doors To Founders Eyeing China
2014년 10월 16일

Tribeluga is a Seoul-Beijing based startup accelerator with the core mission of connecting Startups to new (and traditionally tough) markets, primarily China and the US. Today the company’s President, Lili Luo, launched the accelerator in a glitzy opening event in Seoul that attracted media from across the globe. Dignitaries from the US, Korea and China, including the Mayor of Palo Alto also attended. The event was arranged to officially open the accelerator,…

SoftBank Makes Good On Promise To Increase Its Entertainment Focus, Acquires Korean Drama Fever
2014년 10월 15일

SoftBank has just announced that they will acquire Korean TV streaming service, DramaFever, for an undisclosed amount. DramaFever is a five-year-old Korean startup that streams global TV shows and movies online. The company was founded by brothers Hyun and Suk Park which also raised series A funding from SoftBank in 2013. DramaFever has raised a total of over $12 million altogether, since founding. This is the second major acquisition of a Korean online TV distribution…

Korea’s Sharing Economy Rocket-Propelled As Domestic Ride Sharing Service Gets $18M Investment
2014년 10월 14일

Correction: The ‘won figure’ for the investment originally quoted was wrong and should be 18 Billion won (not 180 billion won. The fugure of around $18 million is correct. Bain Capital has today announced that they have led a series A investment into Korean car sharing company, Socar. The total investment raised in this series A round is 18 billion won (equivilent to around $18M). Insiders point to a dramatic rise in…

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…

Contentious Political Leanings and News Of A Successful Merger: A day In The Life Of Korea’s Top Messenger
2014년 10월 02일

One does not normally associate tech M&As with political strife. But the left leaning Daum and right leaning Kakao are facing exactly these issues on the day they announce their successful merger. Daum is Korea’s second largest internet portal that was acquired earlier this summer by Korea’s largest social messeging applilcation, Kakao. Daum is generally acknowledged to be skewed to the left on the political spectrum, whereas Kakao was previously caught up in controversy…

Chinese Smartphone Manufacturers Set To Invade Korean Turf For the First Time
2014년 10월 02일

As reported in Business Korea, Chinese handset maker Huawei is launching a mobile handset offensive against domestic powerhouses Samsung and LG, in the Korean market. The company will begin their invasion with a new flagship smartphone, set to compete with the more economical domestic options. Samsung Electronics will also make a stronger effort in the Chinese market to increase its market share, particularly in premium level handsets. Huawei is planning to target…

New Global Strategies Required For Korea To Realize Opportunities In ICT
2014년 10월 01일

For as much as the last fifteen years Korea has been emerging as one of the front-runners in global tech innovation, but has failed time and time again to capitalize fully on the opportunities. Smartphones, 4G mobile internet, MP3 players, social networks, and mobile payments are just a few examples. Nowadays, the U.S. and China, not Korea, are spearheading the growth of these markets and Korea is at a dangerous position, likely…

Meet The Ten Billion Dollar Companies That Make Up The Korean Unicorn Club
2014년 09월 27일

Last December, Aileen Lee from Cowboy Ventures, identified 39 software startups that have reached valuations of over $1 Billion, and grouped them under the moniker of The Unicorn Club, in her landmark TechCrunch post. Since then, software startups with valuations of over $1 Billion are being commonly called “Unicorns” in Silicon Valley and worldwide. On the conclusion of a second very successful beGLOBAL 2014, where ten Korean startups featured in Silicon Valley, we…

A look into the beGLOBAL Startups: Keukey and Vingle
2014년 09월 26일

The second beGLBOAL in Silicon Valley, September 12th, clearly demonstrated that Korean entrepreneurship has come a long way in the last 12 months. Here we take a look at two of the companies that showcased at the event which again gathered some of Silicon Valley’s top investors and entreperneurs to discuss global entrepreneurship and investing. Ten carefully selected Korean startups also showcased, hopeing to attract the attention of US investors, partners and…

Seoulites Who Crave Foreign Food Can Now Have it Delivered Thanks To YNot-Takeout
2014년 09월 25일

We have covered the blossoming food delivery market in Korea quite extensively on beTECH and while the market is firmly dominated by leaders Yogiyo and Baedal-Minjeok, there’s a new kid on the block, serving the growing apetite in Korea for foreign cuisine. YNot-Takeout has been around for a few months and I caught up with CEO Phil Neiland for an update. Get involved in YNot-Takeout by supporting their indiegogo campaign here. Ynot-Takeout.com…

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…

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…

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…

Healthcare Wearables Startup YBRAIN, From Seoul, Raises $3.5M In Series A Funding
2014년 08월 27일

Healthcare wearables startup Ybrain announced today it closed on $3.5 million in Series A funding in a round led by Stonebridge Capital bringing company’s total raise to $4.2 million. The Korea-based startup, founded in Feb 2013 by a Caltech neuroscientist and Samsung engineers, offers healthcare wearables for Alzheimer’s disease patients. Ybrain is a brain signal based wearable device start up building mobile health and wellness solution platform for the healthy and impaired….