Frograms’ "Watcha" Service Blitzes Naver with 5 Million User Ratings

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Frograms, developer of the movie recommendation service “Watcha”, announced earlier today that the service has collected over 5 million star ratings from users, making it Korea’s top recommendation service for films.

The number has exceeded Naver’s movie service which previously held the top spot with 4.8 million ratings. Portal sites still reign supreme in South Korea, and it is extremely uncommon for a startup to blitz portal services in the way that Watcha has. Frograms was only founded in mid-August last year, showing just how fast the startup has grown.

At the root of the service’s growth is its personalized recommendation model which caters to individual users’ tastes in movies. Users rate films that they have seen with stars, and movies are then recommended after analyzing individual preferences which are found using Watcha’s algorithm.

Recommendation algorithms are currently used on US sites such as Amazon and Netflix and collecting a large amount of data is essential  in order to provide the most accurate recommendations. Frograms CEO Taehoon Park said, “Currently we are getting one rating per second. We intend to differentiate our service by optimizing our algorithm further through data analysis of preferences.”

Frograms was the receiver of the first investment from K Cube Ventures in May 2012, a venture capital firm established by Kakao founder Beom-Soo Kim and former principal at Softbank Ventures Jimmy Rim. Frograms also placed second at Google Korea’s ‘Global K-Startup’ in October last year.

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

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