VCs and Angel Investors
Korean Startup 5Rocks Acquired By Mobile Monetization And Ad-tech Firm Tapjoy

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 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…

International Startup Team From LG & Google Raises $1M To Trounce Dropbox In Developing Markets

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….

FuturePlay, Korea’s Newest High-Tech incubator Opens Its Doors to Inventors and Engineers

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…

Cyber Agent Ventures’ Rising Expo Finals in Tokyo Set To Catalyze Their Position in Asia’s Startup Scene
2014년 07월 01일

  Cyber Agent Ventures has been actively expanding its portfolio of startup investments across Asia and due to their physical networks and offices on the ground around Asia have emerged as a powerful force catalysing the growth of the Asia-wide startup ecosystem. Their annual flagship event will be returning home to Tokyo on August 8th, after touch-downs in South East Asia, Seoul and China. RISING EXPO is looking for startups who aspire…

Rakuten Ventures Launches $100M Fund, Expands Scope To NE Asia Israel & USA
2014년 06월 30일

Rakuten Ventures today announced the launch of a $100M global investment fund. This fund builds on the success of the Southeast Asia fund, which was launched in 2013 and counts Carousell, Visenze, Coda Payments and Send Anywhere among its investment portfolio. The investment in Send Anywhere is Rakuten’s first investment in a company outside South East Asia and their first in a South Korean startup, ESTMob. The new fund will target investments…

Coupang, A Korean Next-Gen E-commerce Platform Raises $100M From Sequoia Capital, Reaches $1Bn Valuation

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….

New Kakao-Daum Merger Aims to De-Throne Naver-Line And Expedite Kakao’s IPO
2014년 05월 27일

Kakao Corp, this week has announced an agreement to buy Korea’s second largest domestic Internet-portal operator Daum Communications in an all-stock deal. It is hoped that the deal will boost the merged entity’s presence in on both Web and mobile services. The deal comes at a time when tech analysts are heralding the end of messaging 2.0, as most independent messaging services which have seen enormous growth recently will now have merged or been…

Korean Startup ESTmob Behind File-sharing App Send Anywhere Raises $1M From Rakuten Ventures
2014년 05월 20일

Originally Posted by TechInAsia ESTmob, the Seoul-based team behind file-sharing app Send Anywhere revealed today it has completed a US$1 million seed round led by Rakuten Ventures. ESTmob co-founder Suhyuk Kang said that they will use the funding to expand their user-base around the globe and ramp up the app’s feature set. Send Anywhere delivers a basic, somewhat mundane utility to device owners. After one downloads the app, a user selects a…

Four Killer Presentation Tips for the BeLaunch Startup Battle
2014년 05월 12일

BeLaunch 2014 kicks off this Wednesday in Dongdaemun, but It’s a fair bet that some of the contenders in this year’s startup battle are still perfecting their presentations. I did competitive pitches for almost 10 years in the PR industry and now I’m telling the world about my current company. From this experience, I’ve found some clear attributes that winning pitches have. Here’s the list: 1. Tell a Great Story Your slides…

If you’re missing Belaunch , here’s who spoke at the morning session
2014년 05월 06일

The Wearables Revolution   Eric Migicovsky (CEO/Founder of Pebble) Eric Migicovsky is the founder and CEO of Pebble Technology, the company behind the Pebble watch, a smartwatch for iPhone and Android. The first model of the smart watch was the InPulse model which was built while Migicovsky and his friends were still in university. In 2012, the team launched the most successful Kickstarter campaign to date which raised over $10M . (…

An Angel’s Perspective on Investing In Korean Startups
2014년 05월 05일

Aviram Jenik is a rare entrepreneurial breed in Korea. He has built and exited two global companies and his third venture, Beyond Security, is working steadily towards an IPO in the US. In his free time Aviram makes Angel Investments in and coaches Korean entrepreneurs. I caught up with him recently to learn about his experiences as an Angel Investor in Korea. Disclaimer: Ok, before you think you’ve missed something, Aviram is…

The Future is Asia: Perspectives from beLAUNCH Speaker, Soujanya Bhumkar
2014년 05월 04일

Soujanya Bhumkar, Coolris CEO, will speak at this years beLAUNCH conference, Korea’s premier start up and tech event. The explosion of the selfie has become part of creating a new type of human experience and  Cooliris believes in augmenting the impact of these snaps, through personal media which is shared privately. Coolris was founded on the core principal of improving the user experience when browsing media and information on the web.  From…

What You May Not Have Known About Korea, ‘Land of the Morning Calm’ & Now Startup Hub in NE Asia

Korea, once referred to as the ‘Land of the Morning Calm,’ is emerging as one of the key startup hubs in Asia. I have witnessed firsthand the exponential pace of change in this once conservative and shy nation over the last ten years, and I am encouraged by the hunger with which local founders are embracing the challenge and opportunity presented by entrepreneurship. As predictable and arduous corporate careers begin to lose…

K CUBE Ventures: How This VC Became a Startup’s Best Friend

Investing in Korean startups can be a tough job for Venture Capitalists. Despite amazing growth over the last two to three in the venture ecosystem, we will have to wait for a further five years or more to see the fruits of this second push for a creative economy in Korea over the last ten years. As we know, VCs base their earning potential on few successful investments that can generate enormous…

Facts That Make The Korean Startup & Tech Environment One of The Most Interesting in Asia
2014년 04월 11일

This article gives a round-up of recent news from the Korean startup and tech environment. Please feel free to suggest updates and additional news. If you want to check out Korea for yourself, we suggest coming to Seoul, May 14-15, for beLAUNCH, Korea’s top tech and startup event. While the event is based in Korea we welcome startups from across the world and have secured a top line-up of global speakers who…

What Made Silicon Valley’s DFJ Make a Follow-on Investment In A Bitcoin Startup From Seoul

Coinplug, one of Seoul’s foremost bitcoin startups has just announced that they have raised a second round of funding from Silicon Valley VCs, to the tune of $400k. This replicates a funding round that the company received just last November for the same amount. What is also impressive is that both rounds have come from Silicon Valley based Investors, a once rare occurrence for Korean startups. This story also follows news we…

Rakuten Acquires Viki for $200M
2014년 02월 10일

Reported by AllThingsD on Septemer 1st 2013 Japan’s Internet e-commerce giant Rakuten is set to purchase Viki, a premium video site that has been described as “Hulu for the rest of the world.” The deal was set to be announced next week, but after I queried the company about it, its CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani (whose nickname is Mickey), confirmed the transaction, although he declined to give the price. That would be $200 million, according…

BootstrapLabs and Coolidge Corner Investment Partner to Launch Bootstrap Accelerator Korea
2014년 02월 07일

Partnership creates first Korea-­focused accelerator for tech startups with a dedicated Silicon Valley Fast Track™ program Silicon Valley-­based BootstrapLabs, a global accelerator for foreign entrepreneurs and Seoul-­based Coolidge Corner Investment (CCVC), a technology venture firm with $22M under management, today announce the formation of BootstrapAccelerator Korea, a Seoul-­based 6 month accelerator program specifically designed to assist young and promising korean technology startups to relocate in Silicon Valley and build global businesses. Additionally,…