22 Korean Startups to Watch For in 2015

Recently, South Korea’s technology setting has drawn attention from huge Silicon Valley giants like Google and Facebook, whose founder Mark Zuckerberg visited the country two times in 2 years. Google is within the process of opening a 20,000-sq.-ft. start-up center inside Seoul in order to nurture domestic start-ups as well as provide them more exposure on a global basis.

South Korea’s start-ups, in the past, had trouble connecting with users outside of the country. However, the present circle of young entrepreneurs, most of whom studied outside of Korea, are beginning businesses that have global ambitions. They also are getting more assistance from government programs matching private investments with public grants. Here are 22 Korean startups to watch for in 2015:


NPCore’s security engine is based on behavior that secures the system before attackers harm the system, whereas traditional pattern based security solutions such as Anti-virus only block previously occurred security attacks. NPCore provides APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) defense solutions not only for enterprise networks (network based solution; B2B), but also for user PCs and Mobiles (end-point based solution; B2B and B2C).


HUiNNO is working to lead the healthcare industry through wearable technology. CIRCLO by HUiNNO is a new innovative smart watch that can measure blood pressure instantly, accurately, and continuously to help manage your health without traditional cuffs.

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South Korea’s Daum Kakao To Launch $90M Investment Fund

Daum Kakao, one of South Korea’s largest Internet companies and the owner of messaging app Kakao Talk, announced today that it plans to launch an 100 billion won (about $90.8 million) investment fund. Called K Venture Group, the fund will focus on startups in and out of Korea.

The company told Yonhap News Agency that the fund’s goal is to help lessen Daum Kakao’s dependence on Kakao Talk for growth. Kakao Talk is the top messaging app in South Korea, with 37 million users, but overseas it faces tough competition from Tencent’s WeChat, Line, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.

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South Korea Is Building What Could Be the Future Standard in Wireless Speed

South Korea Is Building What Could Be the Future Standard in Wireless Speed
How much would you pay for instant download ability?

South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Technology announced plans to spend about $1.5 billion to build a national 5G wireless network to be commercially available by 2020. With the new 5G — which would be 1,000 times faster than most 4G LTE networks — users would be able download a full-length, 800-megabyte film in just one second.

Yep, just one second. That’s it.

The country’s science ministry sees this plan as “preemptive,” noting in a statement on Wednesday, “Countries in Europe, China and the US are making aggressive efforts to develop 5G technology…and we believe there will be fierce competition in this market in a few years.”

South Korea is home to tech heavy-hitters like Samsung and LG, and is known for not only being an interconnected nation, but having the fastest internet in the world. The 5G network would not only be a boon for country’s mobile and telecommunications industries. Apparently the faster internet speed would make it possible for travelers on 310 mph bullet trains to get access to their e-mail and preferred social media networks.

When wireless reaches that speed in the U.S., well, watch out.

Struggling LivingSocial quits South Korea market, sells out to Groupon for $260 million

ticket monster screenshot

Daily deals site LivingSocial announced today it will sell LivingSocial Korea, the company that owns group buying site Ticket Monster (a.k.a. TMON), to Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) for $260 million in cash and shares.

That essentially means LivingSocial is giving up South Korea for the time being, and Groupon is up to bat. Any remaining non-Korean assets owned by LivingSocial Korea will be divested.

Groupon says Ticket Monster makes $800 million in billings, from which it takes a 10 to 15 percent cut according to a source cited in AllThingsD. That puts the revenue figure around $100 million.

LivingSocial acquired Ticket Monster in August 2011, although exact details were not disclosed.

LivingSocial has expanded to more than two dozen countries, while Groupon is available in nearly 50. The two US-based companies are each others’ biggest competitors globally.

In South Korea, TMON’s biggest competitors are WeMakePrice, which sued TMON in February, and Coupang.

-Courtesy: Techinasia