[Weekly VentureSquare Stories] LivingSocial’s TicketMonster Takeover Complete


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Weekly VentureSquare Stories are summaries of some of the week’s top posts relating to the Korean startup and venture Industry.

LivingSocial’s TicketMonster Takeover Complete

사용자 삽입 이미지Korea’s number one social commerce company TicketMonster (CEO Shin Hyun-sung) has announced that the take over by LivingSocial (www.livingsocial.com) is now complete. This adds to LivingSocial’s take over of Thailand’s ‘Ensogo’ and Indonesia’s ‘DealKeren’, giving them a firmer hold on the Asian market. Earlier this year, TicketMonster also took over Malaysia’s ‘Everyday.com.my’. LivingSocial have already entered 27 different countries around the world. CEO and co-founder of LivingSocial, Tim O’Shaughnessy said, “TicketMonster is one of Korea’s most recognized and trusted brands in the nascent daily deal industry, and we are excited to bring them into the LivingSocial family.”

An interview with Wizard Works’ CEO, Pyo Chul-min
사용자 삽입 이미지Wizard Works started out as a company developing widgets for websites. After signing a contract with Naver they quickly became the number one widget site in the country but it barely produced any revenue. Wizard Works stopped making widgets for portal sites and began selling widget ads to other companies. As the number of employees at Wizard Works increased, so did the salaries that had to be paid to these employees resulting in having to sell more ads. In the end they had become an advertising service, a far cry from the web services that Pyo wanted to sell to consumers. Pyo decided that he had to put a stop to this and relocated the business to a smaller office and let go a number of his staff. “Everyday feels exciting like when we first started out,” Pyo explained, “Our staff have a new look in their eyes which I have never seen before.” Wizard Works are currently developing a cloud service to be released in November.

‘Social-Location-Mobile’ Service Lotiple
사용자 삽입 이미지Lotiple is a location-based social commerce service which offers discounts on products and services in the user’s area. Softbank Ventures recently invested in Lotiple’s stock, the second time they have done so this year.  Loltiple’s original idea was to provide a ‘reduced to sell service’ e.g. discounts on food that had to be consumed that day. Having decided to change their original idea and target the open market,  Lotiple’s director Yoon Dong-hee recalled how he felt when the Groupon Now service entered Korea, “With the release of Groupon Now, a part of me felt like I was a copycat but now I welcome it from the perspective of learning about the market.” Lotiple are currently developing a new type of location-based information service which will be released in the coming months.

Startups in Korea: Admobi – CEO Kang Han-gu
If you could accumulate money by simply watching ads, would ads help you rather than annoy you? If consumers could effortlessly go and buy products with the points that they had saved up watching them, wouldn’t consumers be more likely to look out for ads? One of the main things advertisers have always tried to achieve has been making ads that provide information and that the consumer will not perceive as spam. This is what Admobi has set out to do, to speak to the heart’s of consumers by giving them benefits or rewards for watching the ads.

Sharp’s Galapagos Cancelled After 9 Months
Sharp made a name for themselves with LCD technology which led to great success in the TV industry. Last December they started making their own range of mobile devices under the name of ‘Galapagos’ to compete with Apple’s iPad. This was a complete change of strategy for Sharp. However, after 9 months they have announced that they will stop production of the range except for the Galapagos A01SH. This latest development combined with the drop in price on LCD devices has brought about hard times for Sharp.

Do Not Stress Out Your Manager
Professor of psychology at Rochester University conducted an experiment with his colleagues. This involved two group of professors being told to teach students about how to solve problems. One group was told that they must teach the students so they get the highest marks. It turned out that the professors in the latter group spent twice as long talking, used many restrictive words (have to, should, must) and did not give as much time for students to speak. It showed that because of the pressure on the professors, they ended up giving less freedom to the students. The same can be applied to managers in business who have pressure to meet certain requirements or deadlines and how they treat those working below them.

Samsung VS Apple
Over 4 continents, in 9 countries and in 12 courts, Samsung and Apple have been filing lawsuits against each other regarding designs and patents. Not long ago a German court ruled that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 could not be sold in Germany and from mid-October the Galaxy S2 can no longer be sold in The Netherlands. While in the past Samsung did not respond aggressively to such lawsuits, this time they have announced that they will retaliate by attempting to stop the sale of the new iPhone 5. As of yet, there are no specific details about the upcoming lawsuit or how they expect to carry out this action against Apple.

* Upcoming Events for Startups in Korea

Korea Incubation Pilot Program
Since 2007, You Noodle have been running incubation programs for startups in Silicon Valley. This year they are holding a ‘Korea Incubation Pilot Program’ aimed at startups and entrepreneurs who would like to take their business to the U.S. The top 30-40 teams will be given a chance to pitch their ideas at a conference in Seoul who will be competing for a top prize of a trip to Silicon Valley. Entrants will be given feedback by US-based judges regardless of whether they are chosen for the training program. Entry details are as follows.

All Korean entrepreneurs are eligible to enter within the following criteria:
• Must be a company(including would-be startup) that is occupied in the SMBA-designated business incubator or small business(including would-be startup) (중소기업창업 지원법 제2조2항에 해당되는 기업)
• Must have a working prototype of project
• Must have an international focus/market
• Must be able to attend the training program Oct-Nov 2011
• All entries must be in English

All entrants need to upload the following:
• Business Plan Summary (5-10 pages) in both English and Korean
• Pitch Deck (10 slides) in both English and Korean
• Resume/CV of founder(s) in both English and Korean
• <If applicable> Copy of Business License (if in Korea), International Patents, Certificate of Authentication etc.

The theme and slogan for this event is New Horizons. It will be a time to look and reflect on the meaning of; new stage, new generation, new possibilities, new legacy, new seeds of growth and new values.

Date: October 5, 10 – 6
Venue: SETEC, Hakyeoul Station, Line No.3
Hosts: Korea Venture Business Association, ET News
Topic: “Why Startups Matter”

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10:00 ~10:15

Welcome and Event Introduction

10:15 ~ 11:00

Keynote Speech
(“Why Startups Matter”)

Han Kim(Altos Ventures )

11:00 ~ 12:00

Startup Launch

Demo of 5 startups and then Q&A from judges.
(10 mins per startup)

12:00 ~ 13:00


13:00 ~13:50

Panel 1 (Seed Investment/Angel Investment)

John Nahm (Strong Ventures),
David Lee(Seoul Space), Jang Byun-gyu(Bon Angels),
Lee Jung-woo(Saehan Ventures)

13:50 ~ 14:00


14:00 ~ 15:00

Startup Launch

Demo of 5 startups and then Q&A from
(10 mins per startup)

15:00 ~15:50

Panel 2
(Silicon Valley vs Tehran Valley)

Han Kim(Altos Ventures), Yoon Gwan(BlueRun
Gu Bon-chun(LB Investment),Kim Ji-hoon(Stonebridge Capital),
Kim Beom-seok(Coupang), Lee Jae-beom(Kakao Talk)

15:50 ~ 16:00


16:00 ~ 16:50

Panel 3 (Going global)

Bae Ki-heung(Musicshake), Paul Kim(Former US DANAL
Daniel Kim(Nexon US), Jung Se-joo(WorkSmartLabs)

16:50 ~ 17:30


Feedback on each Startup, Awards Ceremony, Closing

Seating is limited so reserve your place quickly.
The seminar is free and does not offer parking.
Contact: 02-890-6990,1 / vk2011@kova.or.kr

* 한국의 스타트업 소식을 영어로 번역하여 알리는데 관심이 있고 동참하고 싶으신 분은 editor@venturesquare.net으로 연락주시기 바랍니다.

* If you’re interested in sharing your ideas or company and translating them into Korean, feel free to e-mail us at editor@venturesquare.net.

About Author

Andy Tebay
/ andy@venturesqaure.net

Andy has lived in Korea since 2007 and is the Global Editor for VentureSquare.

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