seoul
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…

A Look At beGLBOAL Startups: Kairos Watches And Team Blind
2014년 10월 07일

beGLOBAL was the annual event held in Silicon Valley, hosted by beSUCCESS. In the following piece we take a look at two of the teams that were selected to pitch to investors at the event. Kairos Watches claims to have built the world’s first mechanical watch and has secured well over $1M in pre-sales. Team Blind has developed a secret messaging system to allow employees to communicated in the work setting anonymously….

Seven News Items From Korean Tech This Week
2014년 10월 06일

1. Korea comes in 2nd place for the fastest internet speeds, 1st in other metrics According to a recent report by Akamai Technologies, South Korea’ average peak connection speed was 72.1 Mbps, lagging behind Hong Kong with 73.9 Mbps. Despite this result Korea remains top in the world for a number of other internet speed metrics including, highest average connection speed (24.6 Mbps). Hong Kong is the runner-up in this metric, at 8.9…

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…

The English beSUCCESS Media Team is Hiring – Apply Now
2014년 09월 29일

3-month contract, with possibility of extension to a full time position Team: English Editorial Team Level: Junior team member How to apply: Please email your resume and cover letter to nathan@besuccess.com What is beSUCCCESS? beSUCCESS is Korea’s leading media and events platform that helps Korean technology startups find success beyond their domestic borders. We achieve this through media and events, as well as a wide range of other local and global initiatives….

Applications Open For YES Challenge Korea 2014, Empowering Global Youth Entrepreneurs
2014년 09월 29일

SMBA (Small & Medium Business Association) & KOVA (Korea Venture Association) will jointly host 2014 YES Challenge Korea in Seoul, November 16-21. This global event is designed to inspire young entrepreneurs under the slogan, “Make it possible! Yes Challenger!” Attendees will build a range of skills including global problem-solving for social change and entrepreneurship. This will be facilitated through workshops and sharing sessions. Over 30 executives and entrepreneurs will appear at the event to share their insights…

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…

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…

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…

beGLOBAL, One of Asia’s Pioneering Tech & Startup Events Returns to San Francisco, September 12th
2014년 08월 28일

The profile of Korean entrepreneurship has been steadily increasing over the past three years and some have heralded 2014 as the year that could make or break this ecosystem on the move. beSUCCESS has been at the forefront of tracking growth of the ecosystem over the past three years through its media channels and global startup and tech focused conferences. The organization will hold its stateside event September 12th in San Fancisco….

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…