Many investors are keen on the BNPL market as the millennials and Gen Z have accepted ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ BNPL as an essential fintech service for their online purchases. South Korea fintech startup OPENULL, which offers “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) closed the Pre-A funding round from investors in Korea. Joining the round were Shinhan Capital, Infobank, Block Crafters, and others.
The company plans to use the proceeds to hire new talents to accelerate its technology and boost its user base on its platform. OPENULL is the company behind SSOMEE, a service that pioneered the BNLP landscape in Korea when it first launched its service two years ago. SSOMEE, to this date, remains the most flexible BNLP solution in Korea by offering a user-friendly & flexible installment option for any online e-commerce destination.
According to Mr. Gun Lee, director at Block Crafters, “There are many alternative forms of payment in Korea, however, we noticed how OPENULL captured the market by offering an intuitive user experience and not just another payment service.”
The Korean e-commerce market is fifth largest in the world according to a recent report and BNPL is popular transaction choice. The competition in the market is getting fierce, with the bigger fintech players such as Naver, Kakao, and Toss having all launched their own version of the BNPL service. They are aggressively expanding their services to win over Gen Z shoppers. OPENULL will be launching the app in the coming September on both Apple and Google App stores.
Mr. Jun-ho Lee, an investment associate at Infobank, said, “The BNPL market in Korea has become crowded as legacy financial companies try to enter, but OPENULL tries to collaborate with financial companies and e-commerce businesses. OPENULL understands the uniqueness of the Korean BNPL market and continues to innovate.”
“We are not just another e-commerce fintech company. We approached the market with the intention to create a fin-culture experience for our users, beyond just payment, to capture the shopping habits and purchase data to drive more businesses to our platform partners” said Daniel Park, founder and CEO of OPENULL. “Perhaps that’s why have such a loyal user base and how we proved that BNPL market is strong in Korea,” he added.
OPENHALL was selected for TIPS (Tech Incubator Program for Startups) in September 2020, participated in an accelerator program hosted by F10 in SEOUL 2021 and won the first prize at the D.Day Pitching Competition in September 2021, hosted by South Korea’s D.CAMP and Signite Partners, CVC of the Shinsegae group. The Startup has received seed round investment from FuturePlay in 2020.