Oct 15

Crowdfunding in Korea

CrowdFundingA few months ago, South Korea passed a law that made it legal to operate crowdfunding platforms. I’ve always been interested in crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo so I did some digging and started researching some of these sites.

kseedThe problem I see is that South Korea’s market size is too small. This is an issue with Korean’s startup ecosystem. We only have about 50 million people here. I don’t see this space being sustainable for more than 1 player. And even if we get one dominate platform…wouldn’t it be better to post a project to either kickstarter or indiegogo? The problem is language and I’ve been seeing agencies offering this specific type of service. Companies like KSeed help Korean startups prepare crowdfunding campaigns for Global platforms.

Here is a list of crowdfunding sites in Korea.

tumblbugTumblbug. Probably the most famous crowdfunding platforms in Korea. Just received around $1.6 million.

Fundu. One of the first sites in this space. Deals mostly with books and comics etc…


Terafunding. Real estate crowd funding hence the tera? But shouldn’t it be terra as in terra firma?

Kickki. Very little activity.

OpenTrade. Also one of the main competitors in Korea.

Ohmycompany. Has a large user base.

Wadiz. Not much going on here.

FundingTree. Like a micro loan website?


Villy. Means “borrow” in Korean.

Funding club.





And also found some Korean government run organizations/associations.

Korea Crowd Funding Association.

Korea Crowdfunding Platforms.

This is a side note, but I want to be less lazy with this blog. Just in life general. Less lazy. I love blogging and everything. And I’ve been a blogger since like 2007, but it’s so time consuming. I wanted to write up a quick list of crowdfunding sites in Korea, and I ended up burning like an hour and a half. Can someone solve this problem? Build a platform that people can easily update that people can own.

Sean Lee out.

Sep 14

Fragmentation of Information in Korean Startup Space

fragmentation-infoI moved out here to Seoul Korea 4 years ago. I had trouble early on because Korea isn’t really a foreigner friendly place. Out of Asia’s major cities, I’d rank Seoul be last on the list. I speak Korean, but it was still hard. A lot of factors for why this is, but I want to blame the Korean internet.

Seoul has the world’s fastest internet speeds. It has the largest mobile smart phone market penetration. Yet, the Korean web is filled with old tech such as ActiveX. Trying to buy something online is a huge pain in the ass. You have to enter in all of these security codes and have certain software installed etc…

Google isn’t a major search engine here. Everything is pretty much Naver. This poses a serious problem for English speakers. This day and age, we are all dependent on getting info from Google. If Google can’t find some relevant info, what are we to do?

I recently launched a new startup in Seoul. Trying to find info about the startup scene here is taxing. Naver sucks and if I want to use it, I have to have get a native speaker on my team to help me. If I use google, I don’t get much. Cause there aren’t that many English based content about Seoul’s startup scene.

So it all boils down to content. Information. Fragmentation of information in the Korean Startup scene is one of the issues that my Startup is trying to fix.

1. The info that is available isn’t organized. It’s hard to find. It takes too much time to sort out and digest.

2. There isn’t enough content available for Google to crawl and index.

Starting with these two points, my team and I are in the process of building a platform that addresses these problems. I feel a need for it personally. And if it can help other Startup founders…Great.

Sean Lee out!