Korea’s beSUCCESS reported on Monday that Seoul-based LOC&ALL, the startup behind car navigation app Kimgisa, has raised $3 billion Korean won (approximately $2.7 million) from Japan’s CyberAgent Ventures and two Korean investment firms, Neoplux and Partners Venture Capital. Prior to this funding, the company raised seed funding of 1 billion won ($930,000) from Partners Venture Capital in January. With these new funds, they plan to intensify their engineering and marketing efforts with the initial goal of expanding to Japan, with Mainland China and Indonesia to follow later.
Kimgisa is a location-based app for iOS and Android that acts as a sort of touch-screen sat-nav device. Since its launch back in 2010, it has acquired more than 5 million users despite the fact that major Korean mobile carriers have similar apps installed by default on their smartphones.
The company projects that its primary revenue source to come from big data, an accumulation of user information including their destinations. They are also planning to sell advertising opportunities to Korean companies like Poing (restaurant booking), GooDoc (hospital finder), Saltlux (big data solution) and Korean web portal Naver.
The company was founded back in May of 2010 by three Busan natives: Jonghwan Park, Wontae Kim, and Myeongjin Sin, and all of whom previously conducted studies on location-based services at KTIT, the R&D body of Korea Telecom. It has hired many engineers from KOSDAQ-listed mobile solution provider Point-i.