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[Herald Interview] App firm Podotree gears up for overseas expansion

Podotree, a local mobile application venture firm, is gearing up for overseas business expansion, with the goal of becoming the top player in the Japanese and U.S. markets, the company’s chief executive said Tuesday.

In an interview with The Korea Herald, CEO Lee Jin-soo said the company released its Cube Dog 3-D Toy mobile application in global app stores, except the Japanese market, on Tuesday. The Japanese market will be targeted together with NHN Japan later in June, he said.
Lee Jin-soo
Lee Jin-soo

Cube Dog, an idea inspired by LEGO, is a mobile app allowing users to make their own toy and display it.

“I believe Cube Dog in particular is an app that could be favored by many people since it’s free for download and under 20 megabytes in size (for easy download),” said Lee. “It’s the first app which brought the toy construction process from offline to digital and also one that has global appeal.”

His confidence follows the firm’s success in the Japanese market as its Super English Vocabulary 30,000 app, introduced in Japan last week, topped the paid app sector on the day of launch.

With a focus on providing universal content, he said the venture firm aims to record 1 billion won in monthly sales, 10 billion won ($9.3 million) in yearly sales and a firm worth 100 billion won in market value within this year.

“I’m positive this would be made possible if Cube Dog is placed No. 1 in the U.S. market,” Lee said.

The firm also plans to launch its storytelling classic series from July with its Wizard of OZ app that combines factors like 3-D interface, animation and touch interaction with sound, according to Lee. Then it will move on to Peter Pan and Frankenstein apps.

“We expect to release at least 100 different apps by the end of this year,” he said.

The local mobile application venture firm, launched last July, has announced its target of 1 billion downloads and 1 trillion won in sales within the next five years.

The new venture firm is chaired by Kim Beom-soo, the founder of NHN which runs the nation’s top search engine Naver, and headed by Lee, who has served as the vice president of marketing at Kakao. Kakao is the firm that developed the popular mobile app Kakao Talk.

Podotree is the second venture firm constructed by Kim, following Kakao, after he decided to work together with 100 CEOs, acting as their mentor when he left NHN.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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