Top South Korean unicorns 🦄

The country provides a super favorable environment for business development. The government firmly supports small business with the aim to conquer all the industries in the world. The Korean companies possess a set of competitive advantages: intensive experience, productive base, qualified staff, and governmental assistance. Hence, it contributes to the appearance of new unicorns and their active development.

Valuation: $5 billion
Business model: app

This is one of the world’s biggest messaging services. It operates in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. The aim is to become more than app — a sort of life infrastructure for its users. LINE has become the major social media in the country: 68% of the population use the platform. No other social network has managed to outperform LINE on the Japanese market except YouTube.

Valuation: $55 billion
Business model: app

This is the most popular messenger in Korea. The services they offer range from messaging, news, advertising, gaming, e-commerce, and music. Kakao Music, Kakao Page, and Daum Webtoon entertain users on a daily basis. They can easily share and enjoy music, cartoons, novels and many other things. Its popularity has contributed to overwhelming growth of the Korean mobile industry as a whole.

Valuation: $50 billion
Business model: software

The company offers community services — blogs and cafes, other convenient services such as news, knowledge shopping, maps, books, e-mail and naver tool bar. The Jr. Naver provides educational content for children including the homework assistance. Also, naver provides entertainment services such as fairy tale travel and parents room; animal farm and game land.

Valuation: $1,5 billion
Business model: software

The startup develops and publishes video and online PC games. It consists of five key business sectors: game development, publishing, platform, investment and social contribution. Its popular first-person shooter CrossFire has brought $10.5 billion to the company. However, Smilegate is intended to gain bigger audiences in the West.

Valuation: $3 billion
Business model: SMM

This is a famous web portal in South Korea, with its rival Naver. The company provides a number of Internet services, in particular, a popular free web-based e-mail, messaging service, forums, shopping and news. Its popularity resulted from the active internet use in South Korea. It also was the first Korean web portal of large size. Later, Daum started the forum service DaumCafe which consolidated its position in the market.

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