From food delivery to car washing, South Korea is a hotbed for online-to-offline companies. Here are a few we think you should notice
In a recent earnings report, South Korean tech company Kakao Corp wrote that it will continue to focus on the “on-demand economy”, which also goes by the acronym O2O.
O2O stands for the process of going online to offline. Customers can go online to find something they can use offline. One example would be an online taxi-hailing service that allows consumers to flag down a taxi from their mobile phones, like KakaoTaxi or Uber. Other examples include food delivery, restaurant booking and car washing services.
We have compiled a list of eight O2O services in South Korea that you should keep an eye out for. This list is by no means exhaustive and we will continue to write more about online-to-offline services in the country.
Yogiyo is the Korean arm of Rocket Internet-backed Delivery Hero, a Germany-based food delivery company. It has received massive amounts in funding, totalling US$58.63 million.
Launched in South Korea three years ago, the mobile app boasts more than 12 million downloads. It recently started a round-the-clock ordering option, which lets people order food 24/7.
FoodFly is another South Korea-based service that allows people to order meals online, and have the dishes delivered to their doorsteps. Since being launched in 2011, the service, which is available on mobile and web, has received more than US$6 million in funding from a number of venture capitalists and from Delivery Hero, the parent company of Yogiyo.
FoodFly is currently available on mobile and on web.
3. Baedal Minjok
Baedal Minjok is pretty much the biggest online food delivery service in South Korea at the moment, in terms of listings and financing. Its most recent investment round, a Series D, was said to be US$36 million, and came from Goldman Sachs.
The mobile and web service was launched in 2010, and claims to have 150,000 restaurants listed on its platform.
Unlike the others, Plating is not about delivering meals from restaurants to hungry consumers. Its niche lies in sending users well-made, well-crafted dishes curated by top chefs, selectable via its mobile app.
Poing is different from the rest – delivery services – because it is a restaurant booking service. It allows people to make reservations at a restaurant in advance without needing to call the restaurant’s front desk, or write an email.
Users only have to sign in once through the app, and from then on, they can look through a catalogue of restaurants and reserve a table easily.
Lazy? Tired? Or maybe you just hate driving your bulky SUV to the nearest carwash to have it cleaned. YPER is a Korea-based online service that picks up your car from a pre-selected location — like the parking lot in your workspace — gets the vehicle clean and returns it to you shiny and spotless.
The fees on YPER vary by vehicle type, but ranges from around KRW22,000 to KRW28,000 (about US$18 to US$24).
Washswat is a mobile service that lets you get your clothes dry-cleaned without ever actually hitting the dry cleaners. Open the app, select the ideal time to have the Washswat team come collect your garments for wash and monitor the progress through your mobile phone. When it’s done, you get your clothes back delivered where you want.
Perfect for the busy 21st century professional!
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