Home / Tag Archives: korea

Tag Archives: korea

Golden Equator Capital and Korea Investment Partners announce $88M Southeast Asia fund

There’s more money flowing into Southeast Asia’s tech startup scene after Singapore’s  Golden Equator Capital and Seoul-based Korea Investment Partners announced plans for a collaborative $88 million (SG$120 million) fund for the region. The two investment firms will act as joint partners for the vehicle, which is expected to hit a first close before September and a final close by the end of 2018. Already, they claim to have 65 percent of the target capital committed by LPs. The firms are aiming for the Series A and B spaces with a typical check size of between $1.5 million and $3.7 million for what will be known as the GEC-KIP Fund. It isn’t exactly clear what focus the fund will adopt for investments. Southeast Asia often falls off the radar for investment in Asia, with the far larger countries of China and India typically getting the attention, but rising internet access among the region’s cumulative population of over 600 million signals growth potential. A recent report co-authored by Google forecasts Southeast Asia’s ‘internet economy’ reaching more than $200 billion by 2025, up from just $30 billion in 2015. A few unicorns, including ride-sharing companies Grab and Go-Jek, have also helped put it on the map for investors. Speaking of investors, Golden Equator Capital is part of Golden Equator , a Singapore-based group of businesses that includes financial services, consulting, an incubator and, of course, investment funds. The firm has existing ties with Korea — via a Korea-focused health tech incubator launched last year — and its advisory team includes Taizo Son , founder of Japanese VC firm Mistletoe and brother of SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son.

Read More »

Penrose Studios nabs $10M as the startup continues to create some of VR’s most beautiful stories

It’s been an interesting past few years for the virtual reality industry and while there is still plenty for insiders to pin their hopes on in 2018, it’s no secret that things have been progressing a bit slower than more bullish parties would have hoped for. Yet for all of what potential still remains unfulfilled, it seems fair to say that storytellers are still just as entranced (and occasionally bewildered) by the power of the fully immersive medium. Penrose Studios has been one of the more shining stars in the narrative-based VR content space. Their work has drawn easy comparisons to Pixar’s and their efforts have seemed to influence other studios in the space as well. The VR studio announced today that they have closed a $10 million round of Series A funding led by TransLink Capital. Also participating in the round were Marc Benioff, Will.i.am, Korea Telecom and Co-Made with returning investment from Sway Ventures, 8VC and Suffolk Equity. Pixar-esque Penrose Studios raises $8.5M, VR’s biggest seed round While some competing venture-backed virtual reality content studios may be focusing their efforts on creating streamlined processes to build fast and cheap stories, Penrose appears to be more squarely focused on reaching its creative visions first and foremost. The company’s latest major project, Arden’s Wake, is one of the more captivating VR short films I’ve seen to date. The ambitious half-hour animated feature pairs a tightly scoped storyline with a highly polished design that is whimsical and delightful in a way few other studios have managed to figure out. The startup began development of Arden’s Wake 18 months ago, sharing the finished product, which features voice acting from Alicia Vikander, at the most recent Tribeca Film Festival. The film certainly seems like an expensive endeavor, and while CEO Eugene Chung didn’t talk numbers, he also didn’t confirm whether the startup would be charging users to download the film and view on home VR devices. The company’s previous releases, “Allumette” and “The Rose and I,” are currently offered as free downloads on major VR platforms. Overall headset numbers are still fairly low however, and for venture-backed startups in this space I would imagine that there’s a strong desire to wait until there’s a more sizable audience size before cutting access off to the potential new fans who wouldn’t pay to download anyway. While the unit economics of making money from individual downloads of narrative-based titles is still a bit of a Wild West in the VR world, it’s a critical issue that can probably only be punted for so long. Chung, who previously worked on narrative storytelling at Oculus, seems optimistic about virtual reality hardware’s near-term prospects and the rise of so-called standalone headsets which integrate the compute power, display and battery into a singular device that is untethered and more powerful than past phone-based options. The next of four new projects that Penrose is currently developing is being built with these standalone devices as their central focus though Chung tells me the startup is also starting to look more seriously about what there is to be done with phone-based augmented reality systems based on the ARKit and ARCore platforms and what does and does not make sense to bring to them in the future

Read More »

Korean crypto exchange Bithumb says it lost over $30M following a hack

Just weeks after Korean crypto exchange Coinrail lost $40 million through an alleged hack , another in the crypto-mad country — Bithumb — has claimed hackers made off with over $30 million in cryptocurrency. Coinrail may be one of Korea’s smaller exchanges, but Bithumb is far larger. The exchange is one of the world’s top ten ranked based on trading of Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash, and top for newly-launched EOS, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com . In a now-deleted tweet, Bithumb said today that 35 billion won of tokens — around $31 million — were snatched. It didn’t provide details of the attack, but it did say it will cover any losses for its users . The company has temporarily frozen deposits and trading while it is in the process of “changing our wallet system” following the incident. Days prior to the hack, Bithumb said on Twitter that it was “transferring all of asset to the cold wallet to build up the security system and upgrade” its database. It isn’t clear whether that move was triggered by the attack — in which case it happened days ago — or whether it might have been a factor that enabled it. Notice for the restart of service We are transferring all of asset to the cold wallet to build up the security system and upgrade DB. Starting from 15:00 pm(KST), we will restart our services and notice again as soon as possible. Appreciate for your support. — Bithumb (@BithumbOfficial) June 16, 2018 A tweet sent days before Bithumb said it had been hacked There’s often uncertainty around alleged hacks, with some in the crypto community claiming an inside job for most incidents. In this case, reports from earlier this month that Bithumb was hit by a 30 billion won tax bill from the Korean government will certainly raise suspicions. Without an independent audit or third-party report into the incident, however, it is hard to know exactly what happened. That said, one strong takeaway, once again, is that people who buy crypto should store their tokens in their own private wallet (ideally with a hardware key for access) not on an exchange where they could be pinched by an attacker

Read More »

Toss, Korea’s top payment app, raises $40M from Sequoia China and Singapore’s GIC

The largest payment app in South Korea, Toss , has pulled in $40 million in fresh investment from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Sequoia China. The deal for Viva Republica, Toss’s parent company, comes just over a year after it raised $48 million from payment giant PayPal  and others. There’s no valuation for this newest round, but we do know that it is a ‘bridge’ intended to bring new investors in and help accelerate the business for a large raise further down the line. (It is also the first Korean investment for both GIC and Sequoia China.) Not that the business seems to need much more impetus for acceleration, growth is already strong. Viva Republica says that Toss’s registered user base has doubled over the past year to each eight million consumers, while it claims the app is processing $10 billion in transaction volume per month. The company forecasts that its annual transaction run rate will surpass $18 billion. Back in 2016 when we reported on the PayPal -backed round, founder and CEO SG Lee — a dentist until he saw the potential for a mobile payment service — told us that Toss had begun to introduce additional services beyond peer-to-peer payments. That’s included consumer financing products, like loans, micro-insurance and cross-border payments. Toss doesn’t have Korea to itself, its main rival is Kakao, the country’s most popular messaging app. In recent times Kakao, a $7 billion company, had opened business units in a range of industries including ride-hailing, content and payment.

Read More »

Showcase your country or state’s startups at Startup Alley

Disrupt SF is just a few months away (September 5-7 at Moscone Center West) and we’re looking for delegations of international startup groups, government innovation centers, incubators and accelerators to organize a country, state or regional pavilion in Startup Alley . Are you ready to step on a world stage, show off your emerging companies and be recognized as a leader in tech innovation? Startup Alley is prime real estate, where hundreds of founders from everywhere in the world — and investors looking to fund them — gather to meet, connect and network. And maybe even produce a unicorn or two. If you want to exhibit in Startup Alley as part of a country, state or region, your delegation startups must meet one requirement only: they must be Pre-Series A startups. If so, shoot our Startup Alley manager, Priya, an email at priya@techcrunch.com . Tell us about your delegation and where you’re from, and we’ll provide more information about the application process. Regions that have participated in previous TechCrunch events include St. Louis, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Caribbean, Catalonia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Lithuania, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uruguay. We believe that innovation and great ideas know no geographical boundaries, and we strive to increase the diversity within our regional pavilions at every Disrupt . Organize a minimum of eight (8) startups in your region and you’ll receive a discount off each Startup Alley company’s exhibitor package — and you’ll get organizer passes to the event. Plus, if you book your pavilion before July 25, your startups will receive one additional Founder ticket to attend Disrupt SF. Email startupalley@techcrunch.com for more pricing information

Read More »

Korean crypto exchange Coinrail loses over $40M in tokens following a hack

Another day, another crypto hack. This time it’s Korea, the crypto-mad Asian country, where an exchange called Coinrail lost more than $40 million in altcoins, ICO-issued tokens that aren’t bitcoin or Ethereum, after it was hit by an apparent attack over the weekend. Korea may be a hot spot for crypto investment , but Coinrail is one of its smaller exchanges, just about ranking inside the world’s top 90 based on trading volume, according to coinmarketcap.com . Nonetheless, even the smaller exchanges have plenty of coins, as the size of this heist illustrates. Most notably, the hackers got away with $19.5 million-worth of NPXS tokens that were issued by payment project Pundi X’s ICO. Added to that they scored a further $13.8 million from Aston X, an ICO project building a platform to decentralize documents, $5.8 million in tokens for Dent, a mobile data ICO, and over $1.1 million Tron, a much-hyped project originating from China. That’s according to a wallet address that has been identified as belonging to the alleged attacker, who also got hold of smaller volumes of a further five tokens from Coinrail. In all the cases, the companies issuing the tokens themselves were not hacked, the tokens that were nabbed belong to Coinrail users. 해킹공격시도로 인한 시스템 점검중입니다. 일부코인(펀디엑스,NPXS)이 확인되었으며 추가적인 코인피해가 있는지 여부를 확인중입니다. 추후 자세한 사항은 재공지하겠습니다 / There has been an cyber intrusion in our system

Read More »

Ethereum wallet imToken raises $10M Series A from IDG to expand in the U.S., Asia and Africa

imToken , which claims to be the world’s largest Ethereum wallet, will focus on expanding in Asia and the United States after raising a $10 million Series A from IDG Capital, it announced today. The capital will also be used to add new features, including support for Bitcoin, EOS and other blockchains. imToken is the latest addition to IDG Capital’s cryptocurrency investments, which include Coinbase and Circle. In a press statement, IDG Capital partner Young Guo said “imToken has developed its product into one of the top crypto asset wallets in the world with such a sound reputation. We believe it will become a significant infrastructure for the tokenization manifesto, benefitting both the crypto economy and blockchain technology. We’re excited to back imToken.” Founded in 2016 by chief executive officer Ben He and based in Hangzhou, imToken’s core market is currently China. The company supports 30,000 tokens, claims more than 4 million monthly active users and says it handled $35 million in pass-through transactions last year. He tells TechCrunch that the company will use its new capital to study local regulations and launch imToken 2.0 international in new markets. It will focus first on Southeast Asia before looking toward other Asian countries, like Korea, Japan and India, where “regulations are maturing quickly and as a result we’re doing our due diligence amid increasing scrutiny from local governments,” He says. Then imToken will concentrate on countries in Africa, including Nigeria, where they already have a user base. Its expansion into the U.S. will happen at the same time as the rest of its international roll out

Read More »

Samsung Galaxy S9 ARCore Support Finally Arrives – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Samsung Galaxy S9 ARCore Support Finally Arrives Ubergizmo It was first reported in March that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will get support for ARCore in the coming weeks. It has actually taken a couple of months for this to happen but Samsung's 2018 flagship now finally has support for Google's augmented ... and more »

Read More »

Samsung Galaxy S9 ARCore Support Finally Arrives – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Samsung Galaxy S9 ARCore Support Finally Arrives Ubergizmo It was first reported in March that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ will get support for ARCore in the coming weeks. It has actually taken a couple of months for this to happen but Samsung's 2018 flagship now finally has support for Google's augmented ... and more »

Read More »

Samsung Unveils New PRO Endurance MicroSD Cards – Ubergizmo

Ubergizmo Samsung Unveils New PRO Endurance MicroSD Cards Ubergizmo When it comes to choosing your storage medium, there are certain things that you would have to take into consideration. For example size is the most obvious, but then it starts branching off where there are some users who might require fast read/write ... and more »

Read More »