Which Korean Startups Earned Gold at 2018 PyeongChang Olympics?


The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics has officially ended on February 25th. In line with this, many Korean startups partook in the 17-day Pyeongchang Olympic journey, armed with new business models and technologies.

Transportation O2O startups leading the charge in Olympics

The transportation services or P2P ridesharing companies that have achieved remarkable growth last year are running in the city of Pyeongchang. Six companies, including BUXI, Easi6, Daum, Wizdome (bus), Green Car and Socar (car sharing), and Kakao Mobility (taxi), are participating in the Pyeongchang Olympic Games as official transportation service providers.

The reason why the PyeongChang Olympic Organizing Committee cooperates with various O2O transportation services is because of the traffic jam around the stadium. If you do not use a taxi or an on-demand transportation service, visitors must stop at the transfer parking lot, which is quite distant, and then take the shuttle bus to the stadium.

BUXI is a “airport-bound car-sharing startup” that connects the airport to the van with the consumer. During the Olympics, BUXI will provide a rental car sharing service en route from and to Incheon Airport-Pyeongchang-Gangneung and Seoul-Gyeonggi-Pyeongchang-Gangneung.

Easi6 launched and operated the ‘Easy Way’ limousine service between Hong Kong and Shenzhen since 2013. They have launched the ‘Easy Six Korea’ for  PyeongChang Olympic Games and plan to increase their operations in Korea. During the Olympics, a total of 1,051 bookable vehicles have been  secured and the service is promoted to foreign visitors visiting PyeongChang. After the Olympics, the company will expand its business by partnering with mobile travel services in China, Southeast Asia and domestic car rental companies.

Wizdome has launched ‘e Bus’, an on-demand bus service since 2011. Currently, they are operating 166 corporate commuter buses including SK, Hanhwa, CJ, and Kakao. Wizdome is offering a free shuttle bus ‘Pyeongchang e Bus’ during the Olympic Games after having pitched the idea directly to the city of Seoul. The city of Seoul has promised administrative support such as departure point, parking and waiting area for boarding. Four routes are being operated from Seoul to Gangneung, Seoul to Pyeongchang, Gangneung to Seoul and Pyeongchang to Seoul. About 10 to 30 buses a day are being operated today.

Green Car and Socar, two of the leading car-sharing companies in Korea, can also be found in the Pyeongchang App.

Korean Startups feeding Olympics volunteers

Vendys, an O2O Food Tech startup, is providing mobile-based meal tickets service to 18,000 volunteers for the PyeongChang Olympic Games. It provides about 650,000 meals, which translates into 4.5 billion Won.

It is the first Korean mobile service company that started the enterprise meal plan service in September, 2014. The company has converted a traditional corporate restaurant management system, which was operated by physical meal tickets and corporate card, to mobile base.

During the Olympics, volunteers can have their meals served at 34 restaurants around the Olympic Stadium by turning on their mobile app and presenting a coupon bar code. This app prevents the misfortune that the volunteers cannot eat food because they lost the meal tickets or miss the meal time.

Opening and Closing Ceremony: experience enhanced by ‘Projection Mapping’

Mixed Reality (MR) content producer (.mill) presented ‘Projection Mapping’ at the opening ceremony and plans to do the same for the closing ceremony. Projection mapping is a technique that projects an image made of light on the surface of an object to make a change, so that an object in the real world appears to have a different character. It is similar to the media facade. .mill produces half of the opening / closing projection mapping.

.mill was  established in May 2012. It has created images on the wall using projects, and has performed stage performances of media performances by dancers in front of them. It is a company that started hologram performance in Korea, and companies such as Samsung, Galaxy, POSCO, LG CNS and Kia Motors are major partners.

The PyeongChang Olympics have recently been criticized for its safety and hygiene problems such as the spread of Norovirus. However, as the Olympic Winter Games are held in Korea 30 years after the 88th Olympic Games and 2,925 athletes from 92 countries, there is a great desire among citizens of Korea for the Olympics to be successful. At the same time, the Korean venture community is hopeful that domestic startups attract the attention of the world through the festival.

Inspired by Platum / Co-Author: Daniel Ryu

Image Source: Platum

I’m a problem-solver in the daytime, and a writer at night. I find joy in trying new things, from exploring every jolly, peaceful public reading spot in NYC to learning to play guitar and kickboxing masterfully. Let’s connect: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonthom


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