VCNC aims for the next big platform for couples
●Name: VCNC (Value Creators & Company)
●Co-founder and CEO: Park Jae-uk, 28
●Mobile app: Between*, aggregated services to be shared only between you and your significant other, including chat, album, anniversary reminder.
●Age: official version of the app launched last November
●Language: App available in Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese
●Monetization model: e-commerce such as photo-album making service, coupons for deals such as flower delivery, travel, and restaurant and cafe
●Goals: to become a global platform with the most number of couple users
420,000 registered users
6,000 users sign up daily
30 million messages per day
1.5 million pictures a day
54 percent, active user rate, weekly-basis
$1 million funding from Soft Bank, a venture capital (VC)
Excerpts from an interview with CEO
Q. How did you start the company?
A. While I was in Seoul National University, I launched a startup with five other college friends without a clear direction at first. For about two years, we met with a lot of Korean entrepreneurs through blogging, and after having gone through venture competitions and three pilot projects, we narrowed down our shared value, which was to strengthen “real,” relationships offline. ...
With this mission in mind, we tried to read the market trends and privacy issues kept emerging on social media, ... , we found that there’s a need for a channel or an aggregate of the existing, fragmented services to share private information, especially among the couples.
Q. What surprised you most?
A. The amount of data that people exchange through mobile platform was enormous. We also found it interesting to see differences in couples in various parts of the countries. Japanese and Korean users are mostly young couples, whereas in the U.S. and European countries there are more needs from couples in long-distance relationships or the engaged pairs.
Q. What have you learned about running a business?
A. You have to be patient and plan things ahead. It’s not like, “We’re running low financially, let’s raise funding next month,” but you need to give venture capitalists some time to get to know you, just like dating; it usually takes about three to six months to develop a relationship, the period which the two people checking out one another, you have to show the real you, build the trust and if the other person buys it, then you become a couple. But in many cases, startups overlook the relationship-building period and they approach the VC’s hastily.
Q. Future plans?
A. Having 2 million registered users by the end of this year is a short-term goal. We are also in the process of making a partnership with a Japanese company and creating a local office in the U.S.