On May 17th, the Ministry of Science and ICT announced the final selection of 15 startups with high growth potential to become the next unicorns through the 2021 Global Information and Communication Technology Future Unicorn Promotion Project (ICT Growth Project), with “Unicorns” referring to startups with a total valuation of more than $1 billion USD (~1 trillion KRW).

 

The initiative is a comprehensive support package started by the Ministry of Science and ICT last year for overseas expansion, funding the discovery of promising startups, and fostering 50 future unicorns by 2025. This proactive attempt comes afoot for creating another Sendbird-like case, as the world’s number one chat solutions company wrapped its successful $100 million Series C funding last month for a total of $1.05 billion valuation, making it one of only 12 current unicorns from Korea and the first from the B2B enterprise software space. 

 

The criterion for picking the ICT-based companies with strong growth potential was one of the following: 1) companies that have invested more than 2 billion KRW (~1.8 million USD) from domestic and foreign institutional investors in the last 3 years since the establishment of the corporation, or 2) companies whose sales have increased by an average of 10% or more per year in the last 3 years.

 

This year, a total of 57 companies applied, and among the 15 selected are some of Born2Global Centre’s members, such as 1) 12CM, a world-class software platform that enables marketing, commerce, and Fintech services relevant to today’s mobile ecosystem, 2) Dtonic, a Spatio-Temporal Big Data Engineering Platform, 3) Welt, a Smart Fashion Belt that manages users' wellness and tracks users' overall health, and many others. 

 

The 15 future unicorns selected by the Ministry of Science and ICT are the following, in alphabetical order: 12CM, 3D Factory, Animal Industry Data (AID) Korea, Crocus, Dabeeo, Dtonic, Elice, Furiosa AI, H2O Hospitality, Lumir, Morai, Social Bean, SILCROAD Soft, Welt, and Wizcore.

 

The aforementioned startups are provided with a total package of a credit guarantee support system, investment connections, overseas localization programs, and performance insurance through private-public cooperation with related organizations. Born2Global Centre will be in charge of implementing special programs, such as product localization consultations, counseling, and mentorship from local market experts in overseas locations. 

 

For more information on the different Born2Global Centre programs/services or the startups, please visit our website.

 

 

 

Customers and business owners are raving about new contactless mobile services in Taiwan, a global leader in the fight against COVID-19. 12CM's smart stamp is enabling the most disruptive of these new services to serve customers during the global health crisis.

 

12CM, a FinTech and O2O service provider and a member company of the Born2Global Centre, is launching a Takeout service in the Taiwan market with LINE, the biggest mobile platform in the SEA region. 12CM has been an active member company of the Born2Global Centre since 2018.

 

When customers place an order via this online channel, the store receives order information and prepares all the required items before the customer visits. When the customer shows store staff their LINE mobile order, their smartphone is then stamped with the Echoss Smart Stamp for pick-up validation.

 

12CM has delivered a convenient and customer-friendly service by integrating their innovative technology called the "Echoss Stamp" as well as payment technology via LINE Platform API's. Furthermore, this service has implemented a standard process for takeout service, a fairly recent innovation, in Taiwan.

 

Brands that were not previously dealing with online orders and pick-up services are now embarking on this business along with 12CM and LINE.

 

Many global brands such as Thai Town Group, Ippudo, Hi Sushi, and a world-renowned coffee brand have participated in the launch of LINE Takeout and have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from many customers.

 

Taiwan has been a shining example of how countries should respond to the pandemic threat posed by COVID-19, with new systems and solutions being launched one after the other to not only assist in prevent the spread of the virus, but also counteract the brunt of the potential economic effects.

 

12CM's Taiwan Business Department Head Joo-Hong Jee stated, "One of the hallmarks of the Taiwanese market is that trends spread rapidly, and we are already seeing how the LINE Takeout service is affecting consumer patterns."

 

12CM has launched various O2O and Fintech mobile services through partnerships in 22 countries around the world, all enabled by the innovative Echoss Smart Stamp. Global Business Team lead Yenny Kim revealed, "12CM is expanding its business in markets globally based on our Fintech and O2O platform software. Besides the LINE service launch in Taiwan, 12CM is looking ahead and working with organizations such as the UN to develop new and disruptive services and prepare for the 'new normal.'"

 

Founded in 2013, 12CM is planning its IPO later this year in the Korean market.


https://born2global.com/bizcompany.do?company_no=319

 

 

 

12CM (One-two-cee-em), the smart stamp software platform provider and a member company of the Born2Global Centre, has recently inked a collaboration deal with Naver Business Platform (NBP). 12CM has been an active member of the Born2Global Centre since 2018.

 

NBP is a fully independent subsidiary company of Naver Corporation specializing in cloud IT infrastructure and services (Naver being Korea’s largest search engine as well as operating LINE, the #1 chat service in Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand). The deal will see the Echoss Stamp developer’s Open API and Finance Microservice implemented in a FinTech SaaS solution aimed at financial institutions.

 

Traditionally, such financial services have required strict security measures making cloud-based service development difficult. The fact that cloud technology makes use of a wide variety of frameworks and open source code means that financial institutions have found adoption of these technologies less than ideal.

 

That being said, NBP is the first cloud operator in the S. Korean domestic market to receive top marks from the Financial Security Institute for infrastructure security. 12CM itself will be providing its service security level protocols, developed and tested over years of R&D and real-world applications, to this collaborative partnership.

 

Large financial institutions already offer a variety of remote services, such as mobile apps and over-the-phone consultation. However, moving these to the cloud will allow not only faster implementation of entirely new service channels (such as mobile web apps) but also alliance service channels enabling cooperation. The collaboration between 12CM and NBP is slotted to provide a home in the cloud to accommodate these innovative new services.

 

“Financial institution’s recent trend of ‘non face-to-face’ service is in a state of constant innovation and like financial institution’s websites, the demand for convenient financial service via diverse cooperation channels is always increasing. NBP and 12CM are planning to provide a secure SaaS solution that emphasizes security and flexibility in financial services to the market as soon as possible,” said Sang Young Han, director of NBP.



 

Jeong Gyoun Han, 12CM of CEO said, “For our initial loan service model, the whole process including security, identification, Open API integration, as well as certificate submission will be structured as a complete self-service. The SDK itself will also be provided in order for users to customize their own mobile web pages. For a smooth and successful launch, in addition to our alliance with NBP, we have also tapped UniFinTech Corp., a consulting company specialized in mobile commerce and IT.”

 

It is a fact that there is a global trend of more and more software companies moving onto the cloud, and while doing so adopting more SaaS or other “as a service” business models. This Fintech service alliance in the Korean domestic market marks the next step of mobile evolution in the finance IT industry, and we look forward to what it may mean for the future of Fintech.




 

Manage Your Loyalty Cards on Your Phone

 

12cm is an IT solutions company that brings loyalty cards to the mobile environment. It provides a simplified loyalty points collection service by simply stamping the screen of your mobile phone, allowing the relevant app on the phone to collect points. The company recently began to expand into fintech solutions to provide an electronic payment system based on the same technology.

 

This year, 12cm is targeting the Chinese market, which has a population of 1.4 billion. Through cooperation with WeChat, a China-based global messenger app with 1.1 billion users worldwide, 12cm launched “Yiqi Hanyou(一齐韩游),” which issues mobile discount coupons for Chinese tourists in Korea. Focusing on the fact that Chinese tourists tend to be price sensitive, 12cm plans to lure customers to shop at their partner stores by providing discount coupons for convenience stores, restaurants, and coffee shops.

 


 

Bring the offline loyalty card system to the mobile environment

 

“Seeing how everyone is using smartphones, I thought about services that could be optimized to this environment and decided to bring the offline loyalty card system to the mobile environment.”12cm CEO Han Jeong Gyoun is an expert in financial IT solutions with over a decade of experience in the field. He built his career in finance and IT consulting at HP Korea and decided to set up 12cm in 2013 because he realized the power and potential of the mobile platform, as smart devices, led by 3G phones,became popular.

 

Han explains, “Thinking that the ‘mobile first’ era would soon begin, I wanted to start a company that specializes in the mobile channel.” Han had previously planned to provide a service similar to echoss Stamp but failed due to the lack of IT environment that could support it. However, the rapid growth of smartphones and the expanded mobile infrastructure became a ray of light.

 


 

Capturing people’s attention with convenience and compatibility

 

12cm’s main solution, echoss Smart Stamp, brought offline loyalty cards to the mobile environment. When a smart stamp, with its multiple touch points, touches the screen of a smartphone, the relevant app automatically collects points. This solution can be paired

with various O2O services and business models.

 

echoss Stamp doesn’t require a battery, as the stamp recognition process is completed on the capacitive touchscreen. It is currently protected by about 220 patents and is compatible with all smartphones, including iOS and Android devices. echoss Stamp has been attracting attention from O2O businesses, as the solution does not require other infrastructure. Usually, IT solutions that combine online and offline services require integration of offline systems and online solutions or new terminals that need to be installed offline.

 

echoss Stamp, on the other hand, is based on cloud computing and allows businesses to provide O2O services by simply keeping stamps that are embedded with the stores’ identification at the stores.

 

echoss Stamp stands out from competing technologies such as QR codes, NFC, and BLE, in terms of security, usability, and compatibility between devices and browsers. It is also extremely simple for users, since all they need to do is touch the stamp to a smartphone screen.

 

Based on its peerless technology, 12cm is currently collaborating with Samsung, SK Broadband, Paybank, and other innovative Korean companies, as well as Tencent, China’s largest IT company. 12cm’s echoss Stamp technology is embedded in Samsung’s S Wallet and SK Broadband’s Stampbook. 

 

12cm’s efforts have been rewarded through a variety of awards from numerous technology-related competitions and contests. It won the highest prize in technology at the 1st DGB Financial Group Platform and Fintech Competition, top prize at the Smart App Awards 2018, and an Excellence Award from the K-ICT Born2Global Centre Member Awards. It was also named a Digital Media 2018 IT Innovative Financial Product.

 


 

Joining hands with WeChat and targeting 1.4 billion Chinese consumers

 

12cm declared 2018 the year of “Global 12cm” and is currently focusing on overseas advancement. Over the past five years, the company has been able to develop unparalleled technology with commercial possibilities, and now has gained enough confidence to venture out into the larger market. As of now, 12cm provides services through 53 partnerships in 22 countries, including Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the United States, and countries in Europe.

 

As 12cm continues to grow, K-ICT Born2Global Centre has been working with the company in a range of areas, building distribution channels and securing capital. One of the important ways the Born2Global Centre provided support was through exposure to foreign media, which allowed 12cm to leave a strong impression on world-class global enterprises. In addition, the Centre facilitated 12cm’s participation in exhibitions overseas to enter new markets, providing a foothold for the company to expand overseas.

 

Currently, 12cm is focusing all its efforts on the abovementioned Yiqi Hanyou, which attracts Chinese tourists in Korea to 12cm’s partner stores through a variety of discount coupons they receive on WeChat, an instant messenger app that has an absolute monopoly in China. Chinese tourists using WeChat on their smartphones can receive coupons without having to download another app.

 

Yiqi Hanyou has a bright future ahead, considering that China has grown into one of the largest mobile payment markets. Beijing is leading the way to a cashless economy, as people can use mobile payment systems to purchase lamb skewers in food stalls and some beggars even ask for money via QR codes. This means that Chinese tourists already used to making mobile payments can visit 12cm’s partner stores with Yiqi Hanyou and purchase products using WeChat Pay.

 

Han remarks, “Instead of stopping at simple loyalty marketing, vouchers, and promotional services, we hope to open a new chapter for our company by providing a variety of fintech and data-related services.”

 

 


 

By Jina Lee, Hyunjin Choi

 

ASEAN major telecommunication companies made a visit to Korea to meet innovative tech-based companies.

 

Born2Global Centre(Chief Executive Director Jongkap Kim) announced that it held “ASEAN-Korea ICT Partnership Platform 2019” on September 18th and 19th in Pangyo Startup Campus co-hosted with Seongnam industry promotion agency(CEO Sangcheol Cha).

 

The platform was set for both ASEAN major telecoms and Korean tech startups to develop the new business model cooperatively and to produce tangible business results by expanding global networks. The event proceeded in the form of one on one business meeting to amplify active B2B performances.

 

 

Over 50 leading Korean tech startups and 9 ASEAN telecommunication participated in the partnership platform and conducted over 120 business meetings.

The ASEAN telecommunications are as follows:

ACASIA Communications, Telekom Malaysia, Digi Telecom, Edotco Group, YTL Communications in Malaysia, Telkom Indonesia and MNC Vision Networks in Indonesia, CMC telecom in Vietnam and Advanced Info Service(AIS) in Thailand.

The Korean startup list includes MINDsLab, ASD Korea, 12cm, Buzzvil, Visual Camp, THE.WAVE.TALK, I-ON Communications, LOCKIN company, Xabyss and 40 other companies.

 

 

“It was a great chance for us to know a variety of solutions with groundbreaking technologies in Korea. Since it is assumed that there are many potential telecommunication service areas that Korean and ASEAN companies can develop together, we will vigorously propel the practical business achievement such as closing contracts,” said Henri Setiawan Wyatno, the vice president of Telkom Indonesia, which dominates 90% of Indonesian telecommunication market.

 

 

“Diverse collaboration opportunities were created by matching renowned global telecommunication companies with innovative Korean startups. Participants were able to discuss actual business challenges. Through this event, it is envisioned that telecommunication companies will be able to provide a differentiated service with more advanced tech in local markets. In turn, Korean companies will be able to expand their business scope abroad. We believe this event will continue on as a premiere conference attracting top international participants,” said Jongkap Kim, the chief executive director of Born2Global centre.

 

 

The Next Billion-Dollar South Korean Startups

 

There has been a relative lack of emerging “unicorns” among Korean startups, but according to CB Insights, more than nine Korean startups have recently reached the rank of unicorn. (A unicorn is a privately owned startup company valued at over USD 1 billion.) Coupang, Krafton, Yellow Mobile, Woowa Brothers, L&P Cosmetics, WeMakePrice, Viva Republica, yanolja, and GP Club have all been named unicorns, and seven of these companies achieved their unicorn rank very recently. As evidenced by this increase in unicorns, the Korean startup ecosystem is continuing to grow and mature. Korea is in 5th place together with Germany in the global unicorn ranking. The United States tops the chart with 178 unicorns, followed by China (91), the United Kingdom (19), and India (16).

 

Korea’s successful rise in the unicorn rankings can be seen as the result of the mobile revolution and venture boom in Korea that started in the late 2000s. Currently, the startup ecosystem in Korea is flourishing as investors are raising a lot of new money to find the next unicorn, and there are more opportunities than ever before. As the number of new venture investments and newly established corporations continues to rise, a second venture boom is becoming more visible.

 

According to the Korea Startup Index 2018, published by Born2Global Centre, the investment of venture capital in Korea is showing steady growth. The amount of new venture capital investment in Korea has been increasing since 2012. New venture investments increased 15.2% from January to May this year, reaching a record high of USD 1.259 billion (KRW 1.4894 trillion).

 

Jongkap Kim, Chief Executive Director of the Born2Global Centre, said, "The active launch of Korean startup businesses has heightened our hopes for the birth of the next unicorn. There are a number of promising companies now on the scene. One such company is SendBird, which started its business in Silicon Valley and gained fame and secured investments directly from local and overseas markets. In this and similar ways, Korean startups are producing astonishing results in foreign countries. We have seen hundreds of these success cases in the past five years. We look forward to the day when Korean companies will go beyond the level of unicorn and pursue different challenges to achieve the rank of decacorn.”

 

The Born2Global Centre has searched far and wide to find the nation’s next unicorns, and it lists the following companies as the most promising unicorns in Korea.

Here are 10 South Korean startups that are quickly galloping toward the coveted unicorn rank.

 

Founders

: Sean Sunbeom Gwon (CEO), Seungjae Lee

Estimated Total Funding

: USD 10 million (KRW 11.8 billion)

Last Funding Type

: Series A

Lead Investors

: Coolidge Corner Investment, Industrial Bank of Korea, Korea Software Financial Cooperative, Hanwha Investment & Securities, Pathfinder H, MORU Asset Management, E&F

Ecube Labs (www.ecubelabs.com) is a startup that specializes in environmentally-friendly garbage collection and management. The company independently developed the Clean CUBE, a garbage container that uses solar power to compress waste, and CCN (Clean City Networks), a service that monitors garbage collection and processing as well as the amount of garbage collected. By using solar energy to compress garbage, Clean CUBE can hold more than eight times the amount garbage that can be stored by conventional containers of the same size. CCN measures the amount of garbage inside a Clean CUBE to help establish an effective collection route. Ecube Labs has already successfully expanded overseas. Thanks to the positive responses it received in the U.S., Belgium, and Australia, it is rapidly gaining dominance in the global waste market. In 2018, the company signed a Smart City Contract worth USD 15 million (KRW 17 billion) with the city of Baltimore. The company plans to install at least 5,000 more Clean CUBEs within the next three years.

 

Founders

: Dongmin Kim (CEO), Wontae Kim (CEO)

Estimated Total Funding

: USD 31 million (KRW 37 billion)

Last Funding Type

: Pre-IPO

Lead Investors

 

: KB Investment, KTB Network, Find Value Asset Management, SL investment, Medici Investment, BNH INVESTMENT, INTERVEST

 

JLK Inspection (www.jlk-inspection.com) provides medical solutions through AI-based technology. JLK Inspection’s technology assists medical practitioners with detecting and monitoring more than 30 medical conditions. This includes: Alzheimer's, strokes, prostate cancer, lung cancer thyroids cancer, breast cancer and joint disease. JLK's AI-enabled image analysis technology can cover MRI, CT, X-ray and even mammography. JLK received certification approval from the Korean FDA as a class III device, obtained European CE certification from European Medical Device Directive (MDD). JLK Inspection had received an accumulated total of USD 31 million (KRW 37 billion) in investments from VCs such as KB Investment, KTB Network, and Find Value Asset Management. The company is now preparing for its expected listing as a “Technology-Based Special Listed Company,” a newly-added KOSDAQ category.

 

Founders

: Jaehyeok Kim (CEO)

Estimated Total Funding

: USD 5.8 million (KRW 6.8 billion)

Last Funding Type

: Series A

Lead Investors

 

: KB Investment, Kakao Ventures, NAVER Corporation, Korea Asset Investment Securities, Platinum Technology Investment, DSC Investment

 

LetinAR (www.letinar.com) develops and provides optic solutions for lenses that are used in AR glasses. With its independently-developed Pin MR technology, LetinAR overcomes the technological limitations of existing AR glasses (related to focal point, breath of vision, etc.) and aspires toward the commercialization of AR glasses. LetinAR’s Pin MR lens is based on technology that applies the principles of pinpoint vision to micro-mirrors. The technology enables the sharp focus of vision and the color expression of AR objects, regardless of environment, and can be directly applied to the small and lightweight platform that is embodied by AR glasses. To date, LetinAR has received a total of USD 5.8 million (KRW 6.8 billion) in investments from companies such as KB Investment, Kakao Ventures, NAVER Corporation, Korea Asset Investment Securities, DSC Investment, and Platinum Technology Investment.

 

Founders

: Beonseok Brandon Suh (CEO), Anthony Paek, Donggeun Yoo, Jungin Lee, Kyunghyun Paeng, Minhong Jang, Sunggyun Park

Estimated Total Funding

: USD 17 million (KRW 21 billion) 

Last Funding Type

: Series B

Lead Investors

: SoftBank Venture, Intervest, Kakao Ventures, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, KT investment, Formation 8, Legend Capital

 

The AI healthcare startup, Lunit (www.lunit.io), is known for its development of “Lunit Insight,” a medical device that utilizes video data and deep learning technology to identify cancerous lung tumors. Lunit Insight uses AI-based, real-time medical video analysis software and chest X-ray technology to make real-time diagnoses of pulmonary disorders. The device is currently being used by Seoul National University Hospital to diagnose/interpret videos of patients’ symptoms. In 2018, Lunit completed its Series B round of investments, attracting a total of USD 17 million (KRW 21 billion) in investments from SoftBank Ventures, Intervest, Kakao Ventures, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, KT investment, Formation 8, and Legend Capital. Lunit is currently preparing to be listed on the KOSDAQ next year in 2020.

 

Founder

: TaeJoon Yoo (CEO)

Estimated Total Funding

: USD 22.3 million (KRW 26.3 billion)

Last Funding Type

: Pre-IPO

Lead Investors

: LB Investment, BSK Investment, IBK-NH Small-Giant PEF, Q CAPITAL PARTNERS, Hana Financial Investment, Industrial Bank of Korea, BNK Capital, ETRI Holdings

 

MindsLab (www.mindslab.ai) is a startup that specializes in AI technology, which is characterized by an array of integrated functions associated with language, vision, and the ability to think. MindsLab’s major business areas include its AI hybrid customer center, AI-based smart factory/city, AI English education, AI robotics, and AI consulting services. The company recently secured a Series C investment of USD 15 million (KRW 17.3 billion), resulting in a cumulative total of USD 22.3 million (KRW 26.3 billion) in investments. Some of its main investors include LB Investment, BSK Investment, IBK-NH Small Giant Private Equity Fund, Q CAPITAL PARTNERS, Hana Financial Investment, Industrial Bank of Korea, BNK Capital, and ETRI Holdings. MindsLab plans to use these investments to strengthen its R&D, maximize the potential of existing projects (AI Hybrid Contact Center, etc.), and expand into foreign markets. The company is also the only international member of Amii (Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute), one of the top three AI research institutions in Canada, a country that is renowned for the strength of its IT industry. MindsLab was included on a list of 10 breakout Korean startups that was published by Forbes Asia in 2017.

 

Founders

: Ethan JaeSeok Lee (CEO), Jinwook Nujabes Baek, JinWook Baek, Sure Bak, Woosup Shin

Estimated Total Funding

: USD 22.3 million (KRW 24.9 billion)

Last Funding Type

: Series C 

Lead Investors

: KTB Network, Stonebridge, Yellowdog, SoftBank Ventures, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, Formation 8, Golden Gate Ventures, Bokwang Investment

Founded in 2011, MyMusicTaste (www.mymusictaste.com) is a startup for the planning and conducting of K-pop performances overseas. Its most noticeable strength is that it uses big data to predict concertgoer demand (i.e. whether enough people in a certain region/country wish to see a certain concert/performance). K-pop stars who have given global concerts through MyMusicTaste include BTS, Exo, Apink and GFriend. Last year, the company recorded USD 11 million (KRW 13.1 billion) in sales (37.9 percent higher than in 2017). Thus far, MyMusicTaste has received a combined total investment of USD 22.3 million (KRW 24.9 billion) from companies such as KTB Network, Stonebridge, Yellowdog, SoftBank Ventures, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, Formation 8, Golden Gate Ventures, and Bokwang Investment. Its overall value is believed to have more than doubled since the completion of its Series C funding in 2017. The company is now preparing to be listed on the KOSDAQ next year.

Founder

: Jeong Gyoun Han (CEO)

Estimated Total Funding

: USD 34 million (KRW 40 billion) 

Last Funding Type

: Series B

Lead Investors

: SK Telecom, LB Investment, Capstone Partners, Korea Development Bank, AJU IB INVESTMENT

 

Since its founding in 2013, 12CM (One-two-cee-em, www.12cm.co.kr) has created subsidiaries and joint ventures in seven countries, including Japan, the US and China. It has attracted over USD 34 million (KRW 40 billion) in investments and is rapidly growing as a leading O2O/fintech company with a business model that combines cloud-based software, smart stamp hardware and authentication services. echoss stamp is a format that involves stamping directly on the mobile phone screen. Each stamp has a unique identifying geometric pattern and is activated by static electricity from the human body. echoss stamp is currently protected by approximately 220 patent rights. With 12CM echoss stamp service available over 20 countries around the world. Currently, approximately 520,000 people are using 12CM’s source technology to operate mobile businesses. The company achieved over USD 8.4 million (KRW 10 billion) in sales in 2018 and is now preparing for its expected listing as a “Technology-Based Special Listed Company,” a newly-added KOSDAQ category.

 

Founders

: Youngjun Jang (CEO), Jaewe Heo

Estimated Total Funding

: USD 23 million (KRW 27 billion) 

Last Funding Type

: Series C

Lead Investors

: Premier Partners, AlpenRoute Asset Management, DSC Investment, IMM Investment, Korea Growth Investment Corporation, D Ventures Private Investment Fund

 

Riiid (www.riiid.co) has secured USD 18 million (KRW 20 billion) through its Series C funding round, which was led by Premier Partners, AlpenRoute Asset Management, DSC Investment, IMM Investment, Korea Growth Investment Corporation, and D Ventures Private Investment Fund. Riiid, an AI tutoring solution startup, has published the results of its research on its one-on-one AI tutoring deep-learning technology in an academic journal and is currently providing independently developed AI technology as a B2B solution known as "santA.Inside." Having already secured a cumulative total of USD 18 million (KRW 20 billion) in R&D investment, Riiid will be using most of its recently raised Series C investment to conduct R&D and further enhance santA.Inside. The company continues to receive acknowledgment for its AI technologies not only in Korea but in the United States, China, and Japan as well, with a total of 41 registered patents and patent applications.

 

Founders

: John S. Kim (CEO), Brandon Y Jeon, Forest Lee, Harry Kim

Estimated Total Funding

: USD 120.7 million (KRW 139 billion) 

Last Funding Type

: Series B

Lead Investors

: ICONIQ Capital, Shasta Ventures, August Capital, Y Combinator, FundersClub, Tiger Global Management

 

SendBird (www.sendbird.com) is a chatting/messaging platform that enables messages and/or conversations to be exchanged via PC or smartphone. Created using superior technology, SendBird now has over 1 million people all over the world who simultaneously use its services and can process over 500 million message transmissions per day. SendBird can also connect its chat functions to any of 14,000 applications and/or services worldwide. Its clients are primarily multinational corporations, including Reddit, NBA, Yahoo Sports, KB Financial Group, Shinsegae, LG UPlus, and SBS. Recent investors in SendBird include ICONIQ Capital, Shasta Ventures, August Capital, Y Combinator, FundersClub, and Tiger Global Management. The company’s headquarters are located in San Mateo County/Silicon Valley.

Founders

: Minseok Kim (CEO), Ryan Lee

Estimated Total Funding

: USD 12 million (KRW 13.7 billion) 

Last Funding Type

: Series A

Lead Investors

: DT Capital, IBK Capital, KDB Capital

 

Founded in 2010, SmartStudy (www.smartstudy.co.kr) is a global content startup that utilizes mobile content as a foundation for smart education projects and life services. The company is already being widely recognized as a global business and has captivated users around the world (recently included in a Billboard ranking) with its independently-developed content (such Pinkfong and the Shark Family) and outstanding mobile technology. In addition to creating video content, SmartStudy operates a mobile application that features its animated characters and, to date, the app has been downloaded approximately 150 million times by users in 112 countries. SmartStudy recorded USD 34 million (KRW 40 billion) in total sales in 2018 and approximately USD 6.8 million (KRW 8 billion) in sales profits. Its goal for 2020 is to be listed on the KOSDAQ. 

 

 

 

For more detailed information, contact Born2Global Centre.

 

About Born2Global Centre

Born2Global Centre (www.born2global.com) is a full-cycle service platform for global expansion. Since inception in 2013, Born2Global has been setting the standard for successful startup ecosystem as the main Korean government agency under the Ministry of Science and ICT. Born2Global has expanded and transformed startups to be engaged, equipped and be connected with the global market.

 


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