• KITA Published ‘Success Storybook of Start-ups’ Expansion into Overseas
    2019-01-02 hit 604

    KITA  Published ‘Success Storybook of Start-ups’ Expansion into Overseas

    - KITA interviewed 14 global start-up leaders and wrote keys to success -


    Korean global start-ups selected scalability of the business, preparation for overseas certification at the beginning stage, checking culture and policies of the target countries, and utilization of local partners as the key success factors in overseas expansion.


    The Institute for International Trade (President, Shin Seung-kwan) of the Korea International Trade published a book titled 'Start-up, Aim for the Global Market' on December 5th after interviewing 14 leaders of global start-ups. The book has the success stories of them such as how they expanded their businesses into overseas and how they attracted investments.   They have been challenging in the global market since they started their businesses and have attracted investments from global venture capital (VC) such as Softbank Ventures and they are doing well at home and abroad.



    According to the success storybook, in order to successfully enter into overseas, it is necessary for start-ups to pay close attention to scalability of the business. Sweetspot, a brokerage platform for pop-up stores, provides new revenue opportunities by utilizing idle space in large buildings and hotels. The scalability of the company’s business model has been recognized and the company successfully has attracted investment not only from Korean investors but also from Hong Kong.


    Secondly, it is important to prepare for overseas certification from the beginning stage of establishing business. If the product does not meet the local standard when entering the overseas markets, the export itself could be scrapped. Healcerion, a start-up that produces portable wireless ultrasonic devices, formed a dedicated team for certification and has actively utilized the government’s support policies since the early stage of product development. With the preemptive acquirement of certification, the company secured a competitive advantage and it resulted in export contracts for large volume with the United States, Japan and China.


    Thirdly, start-ups need to thoroughly understand the culture and policies of the target countries. BalanceHero paid attention to India's mobile prepaid billing system and cashless economy promotion policy to prevent corruption in the Indian government. Then, the company developed an application that enables management of prepaid billing and payment and secured 60 million users.


    Trustworthy local partners are solid assets in entering into overseas markets. It is effective for the start-ups that lack resources to conduct marketing activities through local partners. When Buzzvil, a mobile lockscreen platform start-up, entered into the United States, the company had partnerships with various local companies and has adopted a strategy to reflect local culture into its services. Currently, 17 million customers in 30 countries are using the service.



    Finally, the markets with high demand should be targeted. Additor, the developer of the global collaborative documentation tool, has operated English-based services for the global market since the beginning. The company thought that the North American market would be larger due to horizontal collaboration system, unlike Korean market, which is centered on hierarchical reporting system. Additor is currently providing services to global IT companies such as Google and Pinterest.


    In addition, 'Start-up, Aim for the Global Market' introduces various success secrets of start-ups and is expected to serve as a guide to entrepreneurs dreaming of global start-ups.

    The book will be distributed free of charge to university libraries and start-up support organizations.




    Summary of Companies’ Achievements and Keys to Success


    (Item/Business Model)

    Major Achievements

    Keys to Success



    (brokerage platform for pop-up stores

    Investment from Korea and Overseas : 7.5 billion won

    Pop-up store opened in Hong Kong K11

    Scalable business model


    Surpassed break-even point


    (portable wireless ultrasonic devices)

    Investment from Korea: 6 billion won


    Export contract (ongoing) for export with US, China and Japan for $ 5 million, respectively)

    Prepared for overseas certification from the beginning of technology development


    Developed innovative products that destruct common sense



    (Pre-paid balance tracking and charging app)

    Investment from Korea: 45 billion won


    App downloads : 60 million (India)

    Creating new business opportunities through understanding mobile device prepaid plan as well as India’s government policies




    (mobile lockscreen platform

    Investment from Korea: 16 Billion won


    1.7 million users in 30 countries

    Marketing efficiency through partnerships with local companies



    (global collaborative documentation tool)

    After beta version release


    Attracted users from 40 countries

    Considered needs in North America, even though there is no need in Korea




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