Korean startup Infludeo was created when the founder Tony Park and cofounders participated in a K-Pop festival in Israel and saw the huge fandom that followed K-Pop outside South Korea. Tony saw the opportunity to launch a platform that will connect the global fans of K-Pop with the Artists and music. With his cofounders, Tony created Infludeo, which caters to the fans by connecting them in real with their favourite K-Pop-star through videos, fan mails, and much more.
Tony wants to explore the opportunity that the Korean wave is offering globally and build on more with Infludeo. He talks to koreatechdesk.com about his aspirations, product, and future goals.
1. What motivated you to get started with your company?
In 2019, I was in Israel for the Entrepreneur program for four weeks. There I met my team. I saw thousands of fans dancing and enjoying the K-Pop Festival in Israel Tel-Aviv. They were enjoying the festival even without any K-Pop groups. We have seen the opportunity there.
2. What is your current main product, and can you share any previous product pivot story to the current product?
We are offering exclusive content and premium memberships to global K-pop fans. Previously, we provided a service that fans can get a personalized video message from K-pop stars. But this model had difficulty drawing celebrities’ participation, so it was pivoted to the current model.
3. What is the market opportunity for your product?
The K-Pop market is growing now. Already the numbers by BTS and BlackPink show how much the world is interested in the K-pop industry. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic showed that K-pop fans have needs in contents online. K-pop fans are estimated at around 100 million worldwide, and most of them are our potential customers and users.
4. What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue? What strategy worked best?
Our business model is based on two services. “Weekly Video” is a service in which K-pop artist share their daily, weekly aspects and lives to their fans by a 30-180 second selfie video. The “Only” service is a membership service for fans who wants deeper interaction with the K-Pop artist. “only” service provides sending personalized letters to the fans who bought a membership.
We have grown revenue by publishing content targeted for global K-pop fans and real-time translation, which global fans feel like they are communicating with the K-pop artists.
5. Please tell me more about your founding team.
Last year, there was an entrepreneurship program for young entrepreneurs in Israel hosted by KISED. I met the cofounders in the program. For four weeks, we had time to know each other, share our vision, and find a new business opportunity. Once we found the opportunity that fitted our vision, we just did what we had to do. START.
6. How much money have you raised in total so far? When was the recent funding round?
We got an angel funding of $40,000 in January 2019, and an additional $40,000 by S- Cubic in October.
7. What are the biggest challenges and obstacles that you have faced in the process of fund-raising? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
I think it was communication. I had difficulty trying to find the right investors. The K-Pop industry is a rising industry, but to explain and make investors understand the business was a challenge for me. If I could start over, I would try to meet more investors at an earlier stage and have a more relaxed mindset.
8. What are your milestones for the next round, and what are your goals for the future?
We are now preparing for $300,000 – $500,000 size funding. Our goal is to be a complex K-Pop entertainment platform.
9. How have you attracted users and with what strategy have you grown your company from the start to now?
We attracted users by publishing premium video content for global fans, and various events that global fans would like. I thought having assets (K-Pop artists) on our platform was the key to the business. I have been focusing on talking with entertainment companies and bring more K-Pop artists to our platform.
10. What do most startups get wrong about marketing in general?
Paid advertisement is not everything at this level. I think satisfying one customer is more important than showing company ads to ten customers.
11. How do you plan to expand globally?
Our main users and customers come from outside of Korea. More than 80% of the users are from worldwide. We are trying to find what global K-Pop fans want and try to give them solutions.
12. How do you handle this COVID-19 outbreak situation for your company’s survival in the future?
For now, our main business model is based on digital content. However, if we want to expand and be a bigger complex platform, we need more strategic plans for COVID-19.
13. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? And what advice do you have for someone who is interested in doing similar things like yours or in a similar direction?
An idea is just an idea if you don’t do it. There can be hundreds of good ideas, but it’s worthless unless you act on it. If you think there is a good idea, start proving on your own methods.
14. What are the top-three books or movies (TV series) that changed your life and why?
- ‘The Millionaire Fastlane’ by MJ DeMarco. It’s the first book that opened my eyes to business. This book made me who I am now as an entrepreneur.
- ‘The Right It’ by Alberto Savoia. It showed why verifying our hypothesis is more important than focusing on making products that we want to make.
- ‘Eight Words’ by Park Yoong Hyun. The book made me realized that where I should put value in life.
15. How do you keep yourself motivated every day?
I try to meet new people every day. I don’t want to be trapped in my own thinking. Meeting new people helps me think innovative.
You can follow Infludeo on,
🎁DreamNote🎁 is now with Infludeo!
Check out exclusive content of DreamNote and private messages sent from members!
Fan membership, Realtime translations all provided for global🌎 fans!
👉 https://t.co/L7Q4nEC3xZ#DreamNote #Infludeo #ONLYU #WeeklyVideo #드림노트 pic.twitter.com/rWY67hzdHu
— Infludeo (@infludeo) October 23, 2020
Read more about K-Pop and startups,
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- K-Pop boy band BTS’ ‘Boys With luv’ smashes YouTube record for most views!
- Become an honorary producer of your favourite K-Pop star with Makestar
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