Korean Startups in London’s Tech City as Invited Guests

The UK government is turning its eyes to promising Korean internet startups. Tech City, also known as “Europe’s Silicon Valley” by some, is trying to attract new and competitive Korean businesses.

Yesterday, startups from Korea including Publ Studio, iPortfolio, Green Monster, VCNC and VentureSquare visited Tech City and explored the possibility of investment there. The companies were invited by the UK government and it is the first time such an invitation has been extended to Korean startups. The UKTI selected companies from the mobile and internet sector with high potential for growth and global development. The outreach to Korea is linked to the UK’s “Great Campaign”, the largest ever international marketing campaign by the nation.


Ebook developers Publ Studio and iPortfolio, VCNC with its popular couples’ app ‘Between’ and Green Monster with its syncing mobile notepad app ‘Flava’, are all leading and well-known startups in Korea.

Tech City is located in the east of London and is Europe’s largest IT cluster with around 1300 businesses in the area. Major tech companies including Google, Facebook, Intel and Amazon all have offices in Tech City, and being the center of the UK’s startup ecosystem, there are various benefits available to help support entrepreneurs. Until now, the entry of Korean companies into the market has been slow, as other international companies seeking the benefits had already established themselves there despite London’s high prices and wages.

UKTI met with the startups at an office in Tech City and introduced the tax benefits that companies are given when starting a business there, as well as the systems for working together with global companies in the tech cluster. The companies will look around the city and its operations for several days while considering whether they might invest in establishing themselves in the UK.

Meanwhile, revenue for iPortfolio and its Spindle Books brand has increased since it signed a contract with Oxford University earlier this year, and is now considering setting up an office in London. CEO of iPortfolio Robert S. Kim commented, saying, “I’ve been able to observe a different type of competitiveness in Europe’s IT hub compared to the US and also get a new angle on things.”

This article was translated from the original post by Hyo-jeong Yoo at ET News, a media partner of VentureSquare.

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