South Korea is one of the locations in the world with the highest mobile phone penetration, this is one of the reasons that local startup RidiBooks has been so successful there.
The startup claims to be one of the leading tech companies in the country when it comes to the ebook’s citing over 32 million downloads since launching.
This year at the London Book Fair, South Korea played a pivotal role in organising a number of sessions such as Market Focus on Korean digital publishing, Introduction to Korean Authors, and Seminars for Publication Experts along with different cultural events.
According to Founder and CEO, Kisik Bae, the South Korean book market is expected to grow by 30% over the next few years and is currently worth around $3.2 billion. In a statement sent out to media Bae said that currently, Ridibooks holds 40% marketshare in the space he plays in. “Ridibooks has been leading ebook growth in Korea, tripling business every year and now takes up more than 40 percent in market share.”
Unlike Bae’s two biggest competitors in the space, Kyobo Books and Yes24, he aims to dominate the space by focusing on a pure digital download play. This move is smart, unlike his competitors who are limited in the type of discounts they can give and can be burdened with inventory at times, Bae and his team just need to focus on the technology and experience. Ridibooks also has a lot more flexibility around pricing as a result with digital books traditionally being at least 60% cheaper than their hardcover counterparts.
Investors in this round include NeoPlux, Company K, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, and Atinum Investment. Mirae Asset and Atinum invested in previous rounds.