[Startups in Korea] YDEA Helps Users Design their Own Wardrobe with Codi Book

YDEA is a startup that was founded in 2009 by entrepreneurs Haneul Kang and Yooseok Lee. The company currently operates two online services — CalenDuck, a “calender sale” service and Codi Book, a service which helps users mix and match clothes before they buy. Kang previously began another startup but couldn’t keep it running as he didn’t have any developers on the team. After discovering Lee, a developer, Kang contacted him and the pair decided to start a company and launched CalenDuck at the beginning of 2010.

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CEO Haneul Kang holds up the logos for the company's two services.
While Kang had the idea for Codi Book before founding the company, the pair decided that the scale of the project was too big for just the two of them and put it on the back burner.

“We learnt a lot while working on CalenDuck’s service which shows sale information in the form a calender rather than lists.”

YDEA has a goal of developing shopping services which make user experience more enjoyable. Codi Book’s focus is an information service through “dress-up” functions. There have already been several dress-up services in Korea including Stylet and Stylelog, but none have been actively developed. One similar service that has been doing well in the US is Polyvore with over 10 million visitors a month and selected as one of the top 50 websites by Time in 2011.

Codi Book improves the experience for users by making what would normally be a 30 minute job in Photoshop into an easy five minute process via the web or mobile. “Mini”  Codi Book is available on both iOS and Android, and can also be accessed as an application on Facebook, Naver and Cyworld.

YDEA carried out analysis for Codi Book by looking closely at the communities of those in the 10-30 year old age bracket and also asking female team members.

“If you look at the characteristics of women in their teens and twenties, they are sensitive about fashion trends and their looks, and are the ones investing the most in them. Even if they aren’t buying, many show a pattern of spending several hours browsing online markets or shopping malls for clothes or new wardrobes and this tells us about the interest that women have in fashion. Many users spend a lot of time using Photoshop to share their thoughts about fashion.”

The service has nearly 80,000 members and is growing by 200-300 people everyday. Nearly 50,000 products are registered on the site and using these,150,000 customized fashion wardrobes have been saved. Having extended the service to other platforms such as Naver’s social games and Cyworld’s app store, it has allowed non-members to also make use of Codi Book’s services.

In the long term, YDEA wants Codi Book to continue to help users solve wardrobe decisions and hopes to venture into the overseas market once the service has established itself in Korea.

Check out Codi Book and CalenDuck or like their Facebook page here.

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