Korea’s Zoyi, analytics startup for retailers, gets $4M series B for massive Japan rollout


See the original story in Japanese.

Seoul-based Zoyi Corporation, the Korean startup providing the Walk Insights offline customer analysis service and the Channel.io online sales support service for customers, announced last week that it has fundraised 450 million yen (about $4 million US)  from KDDI Open Innovation Fund (KOIF), which is jointly operated by Japanese VC firm Global Brain and Japanese leading telco KDDI, as well as Colopl Next, among others.

Established in 2014, Zoyi raised about 300 million won (around $270,000 US) from Bon Angels and Fast Track Asia in 2014, and in its Series A round succeeded in fundraising a total of 2 billion won (about $1.8 million US) from Korea Investment Partners and Aju IB Investment.

Global Brain has previously invested in Korean startups like TeamBlind, iDecca, 5Rocks (later acquired by Tapjoy), and Fluently, but this was only the second investment in a Korean startup by KOIF, with an investment in ESM Lab last August.

Walk Insights can be described as an offline version of Google Analytics, and based on the WiFi and Bluetooth signal strengths of customer’s smartphones it can tell whether a customer is inside or outside of a store. If the customer is inside, it shows where in the store they are and how long they spend there, and through cooperation with POS (point-of-sales) it can track the conversion (purchases). Up to now more than 2,000 stores, including eyeglasses retailer Amore Pacific and Samsung Electronics, have employed it, and recently, there has been a wide range of users’ business fields such as local governments interested in the trends of inbound tourists and railroad companies looking into how many people have visited sports facilities owned by their company in a given group of train passengers. Zoyi develops these businesses in the Japanese market together with Walk Insights, the joint venture company of Zoyi and Tokyo-based YSC International.

Channel.io functions as an online concierge service developed for e-commerce business operators. The operator can understand customer trends using the dashboard, call out to the website visitor, and easily add a function that accepts questions from visitors to the operator’s site. Since inquiries and exchanges can be done in real time, the company maintains that visitors are more likely to get immediate answers from online stores than through e-mails and the likelihood of conversion increases. If the visitor is logged in they can be identified, but even if they are not logged in, by asking for the name and telephone number it is possible to continue an exchange via SMS (short message service) even after the visitor leaves the e-commerce site.

According to Zoyi, as long as the website itself is trustworthy, about 80% of visitors are inputting names and telephone numbers without resistance. Currently, 90% of Channel.io users are Korean companies, but Zoyi will secure new Japanese sales representatives to strengthen sales development in Japan using the funds raised this time.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda