VCs and Angel Investors
Korean Delivery App, Baedal Minjeok, Secures USD36 Million From Goldman Sachs
2014년 11월 27일

It has been announced in Korean media this morning that the country’s leading food delivery service (Baedal minjeok) has secured funding of USD36 million from Goldman Sachs. JaeHyun Lee, in charge of the Korean investmnet said: “Korea is a very exciting market for e-commerce and we are excited to be partnering with Baedal Minjeok, to help them solidify their position in Korea and expand into new markets.” Kim BongJin, CEO of Baedal…

Birdview Raises $600k from CyberAgent Ventures and Bon Angels To Bring You Even More Korean Beauty Information
2014년 11월 26일

Birdview (HwaHae in Korean), a cosmetics and beauty focused startup in Seoul recently announced that they have around $600k from Bon Angels Venture Partners of Korea and Cyber Agent Ventures of Japan. Birdview was founded by three High school alumni, Woong Lee (CEO), Yong-jin Kim (CPO), and Woo-hyun Chang (CMO) during their college years. The company has developed a mobile app ‘Hwa-Hae’ (meaning reconciliation in Korean) which provides cosmetic brand information, precisely analyzes…

Korean Game Startup ‘IDIOCRACY’ Secures $500k After 8-Week Course On Entrepreneurship & Company Building
2014년 11월 25일

oIDIOCRACY is a cross format game that allows both PC and mobile users to play simultaneously. As a board game it is also accessible to players of all groups of ages. “I was very happy with the reasonable terms of investment from our Hong Kong investors, and the quick turnaround process,’ stated a company representative. “We are now adding the final touches, ready for release.” While the team’s first title is for…

Here’s A Look At Seoul’s Top Accelerators, Unlocking Korean Startup Success
  ·  2014년 11월 21일

Seoul, with its rapidly growing startup ecosystem is gaining precedence as one of the most promising entrepreneurial hubs in the world. Home to two of the most influential global tech leaders, Samsung and LG, the perception of Seoul has traditionally been of a corporate hub. But this is now rapidly changing, as a new breed of tech startups rise and as the big boys begin to plateau. South Korea is now rapidly…

Korean Startups Are Hot This Year. Here’s a Look at The Top Accelerators Powering Their Success
  ·  2014년 11월 15일

Seoul, with its rapidly growing startup ecosystem, is gaining precedence as one of the most promising entrepreneurial hubs in the world. Home to two of the most influential global tech leaders, Samsung and LG, the perception of Seoul has traditionally been of a corporate hub. This is now rapidly changing, as a new breed of tech startups rise and as the big boys begin to plateau. South Korea is now rapidly moving…

Korean Game Designer Raises Over $100 Million Investment From LINE – Tencent Consortium
2014년 11월 13일

4:33 Creative Lab, a top Korean mobile game designer, has joined hands with two of the world’s largest mobile messengers, Tencent and Line Corp. The enormous investment of 1,300 billion won (around $100 million USD) will help the company break into overseas markets and will assist in their plans to go public in 2015. Announcing that it had successfully attracted funds from the mobile messenger operators, the Seoul-based mobile game company said…

Yello Mobile Announces $100M Investment From Formation 8, Achieves $1Bn Valuation

Yello Mobile has today announced an investment of just over $100M from Formation 8 Partners . The investment was made as a result of Yello Mobile’s opportunity to continue to grow into overseas markets. It is expected that the company will utilize Formation 8’s extensive networks and experiences from Silicon Valley, in order to lead the Asian mobile market in the future. Yello Mobile now have 50 ventures in their alliance, having…

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…

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…

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…

Softbank Ventures Assesses The Korean Startup Ecosystem
2014년 10월 25일

Softbank Ventures Korea is one of the most established and successful Venture Capital companies in Korea. Outstanding successes include Sundaytoz and Sunnyloft (acquired by Kakao), and there are dozens of other portfolio companies that are rising stars in the Korean scene. Softbank Ventures is a 100% subsidiary of Softbank Corp. in Japan and manages a $250M fund. The fund is based in Korea, but they take care of investments across Asia and…

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…

Softbank Ventures Korea Hold Their Second Annual Forum In Seoul
2014년 10월 18일

On October 16, SoftBank Ventures Korea held their second annual forum which presents their portfolio companies and vision to invited guests and the press. Our friends at Buzzvil, also a portfolio company of Softbank, were there to record the action. SoftBank Ventures Korea, a subsidiary of Softbank Corp. in Japan, is one of the most established early stage investment companies in Korea and their annual Forum showcased their portfolio companies for press and…

SoftBank Makes Good On Promise To Increase Its Entertainment Focus, Acquires Korean Drama Fever

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…

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…

Seoul-based Hello Nature, An Online Grocery Retailer, Raises $1.4M
2014년 09월 29일

Hello Nature (Byung Yul Park, CEO), an online grocery retail startup, has announced a US$1.4 million investment from Softbank Ventures and Mirae Asset Venture Investment. Organic foods are popular among Koreans, and according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the organic food market is expected to reach near four billion dollars by 2014. Unlike other online grocery retailers in Korea, Hello Nature offers compact package delivery services called “nature-friendly…

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….

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…