500 Startups, the global accelerator and incubator led by Dave McClure, has announced its first deal in South Korea after it made an investment in Shakr Media. The startup is currently developing a sophisticated online video creation service which takes users’ multimedia content from the cloud and/or social media, and automatically turns it into professional looking videos.
The deal is another landmark for Korea’s growing startup scene, which was recently boosted by the arrival of US-inspired accelerator program SparkLabs. The inaugural SparkLabs class was announced last month and, with 500 adding Korea to the growing list of markets in Asia where it has invested, Korean entrepreneurs and promising business are increasingly finding avenues to investors and influencers outside of the country.
Up until now, 500 Startups has managed 50 million dollars in capital and has invested in over 300 rising stars in Silicon Valley arena including Slideshare and Wildfire. Several Korean startups are said to have been on the end of attention from 500 Startups, but this is the first time that a company has actually received investment.
“We’ve gained a whole new level of confidence as a competitive service through this investment from global super angel fund 500 Startups. We plan to further perfect our service by the end of the year and raise 2 billion won [$1.8 million] in total funding.”
McClure visited the company on a recent trip to Seoul. In response to the investment, he said:
“We gave high points to the fact that Shakr Media was designing and planning its service by reading the needs of its users. When B2C services are related to things which cost money in everyday life such as family, children and weddings, consumers will respond positively.”
Shakr Media plans to reveal its service next week in China at Open Web Asia, and will be followed by previews of the service in Korea, Japan and other areas in Asia. The service will be launched privately in selected parts of Asia, more details of which will be announced at the Open Web Asia conference.
500 Startups has a reputation for making deals with promising startups across Asia, and its latest intake of companies including Taiwan’s Cubie and Japan’s Cinemacraft; both of which also closed rounds with input from 500.
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