Top 15 Korean SaaS Startups to Watch Out for – Best of 2020

SaaS (Software as a Service) startups are on the rise as more and more customers use the web for their work. SaaS products and services allow users to access their account from any device to continue their work. What makes SaaS so popular is that users don’t have to install software on each of their devices. Therefore, all they need is access to the internet and just log in. Users usually pay a subscription fee to use SaaS tools. There are a number of great Korean SaaS startups. It is estimated that over 80% of future apps will be SaaS by the end of 2020.

What makes Korean SaaS startups so promising is that they have immediate access to the global market and can grow without raising product delivery costs. SaaS products and services are all done online and can be accessed from any browser on any device. Therefore, this allows for network security, easier collaboration, and upfront prices. Besides Google Docs, other popular SaaS services include MailChimp, Slack, Shopify, and Dropbox just to name a few. So what are some of the hottest SaaS startups in Korea?

The Next Megazone Cloud

Megazone Cloud is the largest cloud management service provider not only in Korea but in the Asia Pacific region. The company was founded in 1998 and they offer business-to-business IT services and has over 1,000 cloud experts. They are Korea’s first AWS Premier Consulting Partner and have subsidiaries in the United States, China, Japan, and many more. They do close to $4 billion in sales and their clients range from big companies like Samsung Electronics and LG to financial institutes and startups.

The rankings were comprised by the Seoulz staff and are based on 4 factors:

  • Funding
  • Market Opportunity
  • The innovation of service or product
  • Growth Potential/Scalability

Here is our list of the Top 15 Best Korean SaaS Startups for 2020

1. Bespin Global

Bespin Global Korean SaaS StartupThe top SaaS startup in Korea is Bespin Global, a cloud-specific management service company. Therefore they provide help with business and digital transformation through cloud migration. Their cloud management platform is called OpsNow. Their service supports Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Huawei Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Tencent Cloud. Therefore they are continuously recruiting and training cloud IT talents. Furthermore, Bespin Global was named in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Professional and Managed Services Worldwide for three years in a row. In addition, some of their clients include Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Amore-Pacific, and PetroChina. Bespin Global has expanded outside of Asia and into the Middle East and Africa.

Google Cloud Platform Managed Services Provider

Bespin Global holds over 100 Google Cloud certifications in Korea as well as China. They are the first Asian Pacific-headquartered partner to achieve status as a Premier Partner and Managed Services Provider with Google Cloud. They were selected for their capability to operate skilled technical support, having diverse cloud experience, and for making investments in Google Cloud practices. Therefore Bespin Global will offer proactive services to both large and small cloud adopters in not only Korea but all across Asia. In addition, Bespin Global has over 680 customers globally.

“Bespin Global will be committed to more investments to hone multi-cloud management technology and to do more M&As at home and abroad,” said CEO of Bespin Global, Lee Han-joo.

2. Spoqa -Dodo Point

Korean SaaS startup SpoqaKorean SaaS startup Spoqa is the creator of customer loyalty solution Dodo Point. Users do not have to download apps or carry around a loyalty card. All they need is their phone number (Kakao Talk). Therefore stores can become friends with their customers. Therefore, this allows for free messaging for merchants where they can share their latest coupons and videos. In addition, the customer has the option to block the stores. Dodo has over 10,000 partner merchants and already exceeded 20 million users in Korea. They have raised over $11 million in funding over 5 rounds. In addition, Spoqa also operates:

  • Automated coupon campaigns for customer retention called Dodo Message
  • Targeted advertising on social media for customer acquisition called Dodo Ads
  • Dashboard and analytics services for store metrics called Dodo Manager

Their focus for 2020 will be to expand into the Southeast Asian market. In addition, they are looking to allow users to monetize their data through blockchain technologies, and incorporate that into our services, moving forward.

“Consumers needs are becoming increasingly diverse, and are growing beyond the simple shopping experience. In this regard, Dodo Point is gaining traction with many partners in many different industries,” said Co-CEO of Spoqa, Grant Sohn.

3. Bomapp

Korean SaaS BoMappKorean SaaS startup Bomapp operates a popular mobile insurance management solution. Bomapp is now Korea’s leading mobile insurance solution provider. Users can get a one-stop solution application. Therefore, they monitor insurance policies, compare insurance products, and offer personalized product recommendations. In addition, the app also provides an insurance planner’s personal profile and career information. They have over 1 million users.

Bomapp raised $1.6 million from Lotte Accelerator and over $8.5 million to date from six VC firms like KB Investment and Idea Bridge Partners. Their focus moving forward will be on developing new products, advancing their product recommendation algorithm, and automate insurance claims.

“Through this investment, we will be able to prepare to enter the overseas market, and intend to offer personalized information by improving our analysis of insurance data,” said CEO of Bomapp, Junwoo Ryu.

4. Class101

Korean SaaS Startup Class101Korean SaaS startup Class101 is a hobby-focused social networking platform. Users can subscribe to Class101 to share their hobbies with others on the platform. The platform offers classes for a variety of hobbies from calligraphy, crafts, illustrations, cooking, and many more. Therefore, most of the subscribers are those aged 20-30 who are looking to create a work/life balance in Korea. Class101 is a great way to be productive during your free time by learning new skills and honing in on your existing skills. In addition, they have raised over $10 in funding by Korean VC firms SoftBank Ventures Asia, KT Investment and others. Their focus for 2020 will be on content production and platform development.

“This funding will help Class 101 build a stronger economic foundation for the creation of more diverse classes and content creators. We also have aspirations to become the best-known image of hobby learning platform that represents the nation the best,” said CEO of Class 101, Ji Yeon Ko.

5.  Toss Lab – JANDI

Korean SaaS Startup JANDIKorean SaaS startup Toss Lab is the creator of JANDI a group messaging platform for companies. JANDI is considered the Slack of Korea. However it is also used in Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and U.A.E. Therefore it offers language support for English, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. On JANDI co-workers can message each other and share files. In addition, it has searching functions such as Dropbox. It also provides interesting emoticons and animated stickers much like KakaoTalk. In addition, users can use JANDI for free up to 5GB of storage and if users want more they will need to upgrade to their premium service.

Many Korean tech startups such as Wadiz and VT Cosmetics and enterprises such as CJ and LG CNS are actively using JANDI. Furthermore, Toss Lab is headquartered in Seoul and has offices in Taipei, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, and Dubai. Their focus for 2020 will be to continue to improve their SaaS tool development for the Southeast Asian market.

“Messengers for individuals are on the rise, but they are also widely used in workspaces which cause some problems. We observe the phenomenon not only in small companies but also in larger businesses. We will expand JANDI’s business so that it will reach more customers, not only in Korea but also in other Asian countries,” said CEO of Toss Lab, Daniel Chan.

6.  Open Survey

Korean SaaS Startup Open SurveyKorean SaaS startup Open Survey operates a survey software platform that helps companies better understand their customers. Therefore, by using Open Survey, companies can gather information about their products directly from the customers. They offer online surveys, automated analysis of the results, and data collection. Furthermore, companies will be able to improve their product or service based on consumer feedback. The survey is made by the companies and they select with demographic and audience they wish to target. In addition, consumers are rewarded for taking the survey with discount coupons and even cash rewards.

The surveys are quick and easy and normally will get back results in under an hour. Open Survey has over 1500 clients which range from Fortune 500 companies to startups in a variety of sectors. They have raised over $6 million in funding to date.

7.  Studio XID – ProtoPie

Korean SaaS startup ProtoPieKorean SaaS startup Studio XID is the operator of the app prototyping tool ProtoPie. Now designers will be able to design sensor-aided prototypes and all kinds of digital products without code. In addition, designers are able to import designs from tools like Adobe and Sketch onto ProtoPie. Furthermore, designers can share ideas and design prototypes using ProtoPie Player or ProtoPie Cloud and get quicker feedback. Therefore Studio XID bridges the gap between developers and designers. Some of their clients that are using their tool include designers from global companies like Google, Microsoft, Alibaba, and Nintendo.

ProtoPie is available with a one-year subscription model. Those that would like to test out ProtoPie can try their free trial version. Furthermore, they received over $3.5 million in funding from Korean VC firms such as Korea Investment Partners and Samsung Venture Investment. Their focus for 2020 will be on product development and overseas expansion.

“ProtoPie enables designers to build prototypes for the entire spectrum of digital products, in the easiest way possible without code. This way, we would like to bridge the gap between designers and developers as well as software and hardware,” said CEO of Studio XID, Tony Kim.

8.  Allganize

Allganize Korean SaaS StartupKorean SaaS/AI startup Allganize helps businesses automate workflows with NLU (Natural Language Understanding) technology. Their AI-powered bot/API called Alli can understand texts at scale and answer complicated questions from customers, employees, and business partners.  In addition, the UI / UX of Alli dashboard is very intuitive and easy to use. Allganize has raised over $3.4 million in Series A funding from Korean VC firms such as SparkLabs Ventures, Bass Investment, and Fast Investment just to name a few. Their main clients are businesses that are in need of customer support and employee support. The NLU AI for enterprises has already launched in Korea, U.S., and Japan.

“Business customers have a strong pain point. They spend hours handling repetitive questions from employees and customers. Allganize’s conversational AI dramatically reduces this by minimizing the effort of bringing supervised learning into the business,” said CEO of Allganize, Changsu Lee.

9.  Odd Concepts

Korean SaaS Startup OddConceptsKorean SaaS startup Odd Concepts is a visual intelligence and AI fashion styling service provider based on commerce technology. Odd Concept’s PXL is a service that recommends customized fashion products to consumers. They do this by analyzing their individual taste in the category of fashion. They combine state of the art computer vision and deep learning technology to provide accurate results quickly. Therefore, Odd Concepts uses image recognition and search technology as a cloud-based API service. In addition, they have a team of scientists with a vast experience in computer vision applications that help with computer vision consulting. Furthermore, they have raised over $3.2 million to date.

In 2020, Odd Concepts took over a Singaporean startup called SEACRUZ that focuses on contextual targeting ad systems based on applied machine learning. This will be Odd Concept’s first step in their plan to form partnerships with major online commerce players within the APAC region through its verified services.

“With our commercialization of an AI-based search function, shoppers can now find not only clothing of similar styles but also the prices at which such clothing is sold on other sites, thus naturally allowing for easy price comparison,” said CEO of Odd Concepts, Kim Jeongtae.

10.  Blue Night Corporation – Albam

Korean SaaS Startup AlbamKorean SaaS startup Blue Night Corporation are the creators of a time attendance/shift/payroll software called Albam. Albam helps automate and simplify HR management. Albam Timeshift and Albam Payroll Automater offer help in HR management. Furthermore, the software works well with retail and manufacturing operators who need help with employee scheduling, payroll automation, and employee location-based check-in and check-out.

Albam is now the top HR SaaS provider and has over 70,000 corporate users in over 20 countries. They received over $2.1 million in investment from Capstone Partners and Geon Investment. Currently, they are looking to raise their Series B round with a valuation of over $8.6 million. Their focus for 2020 will be to further enhance its presence in the global market. Albam has disclosed its technology as an open API. This will allow for new innovations that utilize Albam’s verified technology.

“Through Albam’s international expansion, we hope to empower both SMBs and Enterprises in reducing their operating costs and time, which will effectively translate into higher yields in both productivity and efficiency,” said CEO of Blue Night Corporation, Jinyong Kim.

11. Gooroomee

GooroomeeKorean Video conferencing startup Gooroomee provides improved web-based online communication services. They focus on real-time online video communication technology. Many students in Korea use Gooroomee’s Cam Study to share images of themselves studying online in real-time. The service is mainly used by job seekers or students who are preparing for college entrance exams. In addition, their service is used by general companies in Korea for educational purposes or for meetings. Their service can be accessed via multiple languages from English to Chinese as well.

Gooroomee partnered with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups for an event online with investors and startups. They also worked with D.Camp to do monthly demo days online.

12.  Osiris Systems – BeeCanvas

Korean SaaS startup Osiris Systems has created BeeCanvas, an online visual collaboration tool. Users can arrange their files, links, and other resources on a single canvas. Therefore all shared information can be in one place. BeeCanvas is great for aggregating song lyrics, music videos, and scanning tickets. In addition, it can act as a real-time storyboard for sketches, video clips, and even texts. Therefore, It is a cloud-based software that works in real-time so you can collaborate with others.

Osiris Systems was awarded a three-month accrual rating program in Berlin, Germany. Furthermore, it has been supported by the Korea Creative Contents Agency (KOCCA). Currently, the platform has over 50,000 users. Their focus for 2020 will be on research and development into e-mail sharing, content recommendation, and custom template functions on BeeCanvas.

“We will establish a continuous relationship with our customers and provide better services. We will start to develop services that will enable us to compete with global software by researching and developing products,” said CEO of Osiris Systems, Raymond Hong.

13.  Dabeeo

Korean SaaS startup DabeeoKorean SaaS startup Dabeeo is a mobile mapping and big data service. They offer indoor and outdoor mapping for places like malls and shopping centers. In addition, the Korean government has used Dabeeo’s map data technology. Their focus for 2020 will be to improve their indoor mapping and control systems needed for autonomous robots. In addition, they have already raised over $2 million in funding.

“We will accelerate our ongoing research and development activities like the technology for building the next-generation mapping data, indoor guidance, and control system required for autonomous mobile robots,” said CEO of Dabeoo, Joo-heum Park.

14.  BabelTop

Korean SaaS Startup BabelTopKorean SaaS BabelTop is a professional translation platform that has a 98% customer rating. BabelTop quickly matches users with translators who are the best language experts that specialize in business. BabelTop offers real-time quotes (time and price) after you upload what you want to be translated. Therefore, users can check the progress of the translation using the dashboard on the BabelTop platform. With AI taking over the translation industry. BabelTop focuses on human translations. Furthermore, translators on BabelTop offers translators to build their own specialized portfolio in a particular industry.

“My goal is to provide affordable and high-quality translation for everyone. I hope Babeltop could bring socio-economic value and activate global business,” said CEO of BabelTop, Cho Eun-byul.

15.  ZOYI Corporation

Korean SaaS Startup ZOYIKorean SaaS startup ZOYI Corporation offers e-commerce businesses personalized shopping experiences online and offline. They collect and analyze data across platforms for targeted marketing campaigns. Furthermore, ZOYI is able to analyze offline data through tech solution products Walk Insights and online data with Channel.io. Walk Insights is a big data platform that provides dashboards and insights for online-to-offline retails businesses. Channel.io is a messenger chat plugin to allow e-commerce sites to engage with their users and increase customer acquisition.

HONORABLE MENTION

PISON CONTENTS – Musicspray

Korean SaaS Startup MusicSprayKorean SaaS startup PISON CONTENTS has created a platform called Musicspray to help indie musicians bring their music to the people. They offer a distribution service and support for up and coming musicians. The platform distributes music to over 120 countries. They currently have over 5,000 musicians who use the service. In addition, PISON CONTENTS has SoundDex, a system that creates music data that is optimized for global standards. Furthermore, it will allow foreign musicians to enter the Korean market. Their focus for 2020 will be on introducing a service that can track suspended royalties on foreign global music streaming services and collect them which will also protect the musician’s copyrights.

“In Korea there’s a perception that if you’re a musician, you belong to a management company. Despite the globalization trends and popularity of hallyu, Korean artists still struggle when trying to reach out to the world. In Korea, it is not easy to compete with big companies but I hope that everyone can be a musician,” said CEO of Pison Contents, Ryu Ho-suk.

Treasure Hunter

Korean SaaS Startup Treasure HunterKorean SaaS startup Treasure Hunter provides education and marketing solutions to partners with diverse products. In addition, they partner with content creators and has their own creator management and incubation system to find and help new content creators. Treasure Hunter provides creator-based new media marketing strategies for brands, content planning/production, and YouTube channels. Furthermore, they are expanding their networks in Asia, North America, Middle East, Europe, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.