Home to over 10 million, Seoul is central to all aspects of South Korea at large: politics, entertainment, finance, and of course—technology. And when it comes to tech startups, there is certainly no shortage of innovation in the country’s capital.
It’s no wonder that some of these upstarts are on their way to becoming some of the world’s most valuable brands. Here are 15 of the best and brightest from Seoul you need to know about in 2016.
Virect is a platform for sourcing video production services with features like verified portfolios, reviews, and more. Creators can connect with potential customers without having to worry about sales and marketing.
Between provides a sharing space for couples for more intimate and private social networking. The app allows users to build a 1:1 archive including chat history, photo albums, and a customized message board with their special someone.
Don’t be surprised—South Korea has Bitcoin as well, and Korbit is country’s first and largest exchange, wallet, and merchant processor for the digital currency.
Viki, a play on the words video and wiki, is a global TV site where millions of people discover, watch and subtitled global primetime shows and movies in more than 200 languages.
There’s no arguing that punctuality is of essence for businesspeople; Kono.ai takes this to the next level with machine learning and AI to create and arrange user schedules.
South Korean YouTube viewers are most certainly familiar with “I’m multi stick”—MEME Box’s popular cosmetic offering promoted naturally through word-of-mouth. The brand is fast becoming the leading online South Korean cosmetics retailer.
With recent airplay on KBS (Korea Broadcasting System) news, So-car is fast becoming the leading car sharing service in South Korea. Don’t own a car but need to get around? No worries. So-car will locate the ideal vehicle nearby and let you borrow it as long as you want.
For all its merits, Seoul isn’t the easiest place in the world when it comes to finding a room. In fact, the city was ranked in 2015 as the 39th most expensive city in the world for rentals. ZigBang, an apartment hunting app, ensures that you find the best apartment at the right price in this dynamic real estate market.
One of finest perks of living in South Korea is fast and free food delivery. From chicken to noodles, every delicacy is available on-demand, delivered to your doorstep. Baedal Minjok—or “Delivery Nation”—brings this service to your Android or iOS mobile device.
Coupang delivers a lively shopping experience to your desktop or mobile device, offering various products and services—from discount coupons to travel products.
Zikto’s wearable is almost too much packed into one: walking posture adjustment, body balance analysis, activity tracker, call/SMS notifications, and of course—an interchangable strap.
SayWhat is a free language learning mobile platform that allows users to connect with native-speaking teachers for practicing listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.
Cloudbric is a website security software-as-a-service (SaaS) that essentially acts as a shield for your public website, protecting it against cyber attacks and compromise attempts.
Ediket is an on-demand platform for English proofreading and copy-editing services. The service covers academic papers, business e-mails, and cover letters, and is available 24/7 with turnaround time as little as 30 minutes/page.
Omnious blends machine learning with Styloop—an image-based fashion curation service that helps users discover their own style and similar fashion items using machine learning technologies.
The above are just a few out of a myriad of tech startups continuing South Korea’s tradition of design and technological excellence. Be sure to check back with these upstarts as they fine tune their offerings over the coming months and years.