E27.CO: South Korean restaurant discovery app MangoPlate has announced today that it has secured US$6.1 million from venture investment group of Qualcomm Incorporated, Qualcomm Ventures, as well as SoftBank Ventures Korea and YJ Capital, a venture capital firm established by Yahoo!JAPAN. This marks YJ Capital’s first investment in a Korean company.
The latest round of investment will bring MangoPlate’s total funding to over US$7.2 million. In 2014, it received funding from SparkLabs Global, TIPS and SoftBank Ventures Korea.
James Kwon, Director of Qualcomm Ventures said, “Food-tech is a new industry with great potential. With its investor base and funding to date, we believe MangoPlate is well positioned to become a new icon in Korea’s food-tech industry.”
Launched in October 2013 during SparkLabs’ – a startup accelerator in South Korea – second Demo Day, MangoPlate makes personalised restaurant recommendations to its users based on restaurant data, individual preferences and social networks such as Kakao Talk and Facebook. It fine tunes the user’s selection based on over 30 different factors such as friends’ recommendations, price range, category of restaurants and even whether the restaurant provides parking lots, shared an official release.
Dae-woong Kim, Co-founder and Co-CEO of MangoPlate said, “Our team is really excited about having Qualcomm Ventures, YJ Capital and SoftBank Ventures Korea as our investors for this investment. Beyond capital, these investors will help us execute on our vision to dominate the Korean market and beyond. This additional funding will allow us to focus more on customer acquisition, feature enhancement and POI (Point Of Interest) expansion throughout the country.”
MangoPlate has around 250,000 monthly active users, claims the company.
Currently, MangoPlate’s service is only available in Korean and English. However, to cater to the influx of Japanese and Chinese tourist, implementation of those languages is in the works.
There are also plans for expansion into new markets in the Asian region such as Singapore and Hong Kong.