Singapore “The Straits Times”: Helping South Korean firms go global – via Singapore

Keen to encourage responsible pet ownership and reduce the problem of pets being abandoned, student Choi Hyun-il started a website for pet owners to register their furry pals and be connected to an online marketplace.

His start-up business, Peopet, has drawn more than 22,000 users since August 2018, and he is building a database of information about pets – such as their common illnesses – and organising events like seminars.

“Peopet went viral on social media because of the identity cards we issue to pets, which make owners feel very proud,” Mr Choi, 28, told The Straits Times. “Our goal is to be a one-stop solution for pets, and we hope to go global in 2020.”

Expanding overseas will be smoother for Peopet and other budding technology firms when the first-ever Korea Start-up Centre (KSC) opens in Singapore in May, allowing South Korean firms to plug into the city state’s vibrant start-up ecosystem.

Though a small country of 5.7 million people, Singapore has a start-up ecosystem that dominates venture capital deals in Asean, capturing 49.9 per cent in the first 11 months of last year. This translates to 239 deals worth US$3.7 billion (S$5 billion), according to research portal Preqin.

Singapore is home to about 3,800 technology start-ups including ride-hailing platform Grab, more than 100 incubators and accelerators, and 150 venture capital investors. Studies show that more than half of Singapore start-ups have gone global.

Slated to offer workspace, networking events and services to start and grow a business, KSC will be run by South Korea’s Ministry of SMEs and Start-ups (MSS) with support from Enterprise Singapore.

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