Fall, the season of festivals, has returned. Various festivals are being held nationwide, and many people enjoy the fall. Various local festivals, such as the Jeongdong Night Tour, which walks around Deoksugung Palace and the Jeongdong area, the Yeouido Fireworks Festival in Seoul, the Icheon Rice Culture Festival, and the Guri Cosmos Festival are held. Many people also flock to amusement parks and museums.
Before going to a popular place, people try to avoid crowded times as much as possible. This applies not only to festival venues but also to popular stores on social media. If you go to a store just based on what is posted on social media, you may end up in trouble.
We had an interview with Ceyeon Kim, CEO of zetciti, the developer of ‘PREZEM’, a social media app that prevents confusion caused by incorrect information on the web and shares location-based information in real-time.
PREZEM, a social media app that shares location information, will tell the truth.
Q. Can you tell us about your company, zetciti?
Sure, zetciti is a developer of PREZEM, a real-time location-based information-sharing social media.
This social media service connects people in real-time based on location, rather than existing social media focusing on person-to-person relationships. We are currently in Pangyo, but if we are curious about how many people are near the Han River in Seoul right now, we can click on the Han River in PREZEM and send a message asking, “Are there many people there right now?” Then users near the Han River share photos or videos with us in real time. The service of PREZEM is to help you check information in real-time, wherever you are.
Q. Please explain why you decided to start a social media service that focuses on places rather than a social media service that connects people.
Six years ago, I came up with the idea of real-time local connectivity. At that time, I wasn’t thinking about starting a business, but later I learned the skills to design and plan app services, and later I tried to get reward-type funding and wrote a business plan.
At the same time, I started interacting with startup accelerators and realized this idea by participating in programs such as startup competitions and startup packages. After that, I decided to go beyond Korea and create a global social media, so I started a full-fledged business.
Q. Were there any difficulties during your startup process?
I thought I would be vulnerable compared to other entrepreneurs with a lot of work experience, so I actively met with other friends who worked at companies around me and CEOs of startups and listened and learned how other companies operate and manage to solve problems.
In addition, the Pangyo Startup Zone offers a variety of programs to help you gain the knowledge you need to start a business. We got help through a mentoring program with various experts in areas such as tax, law, and technology development. We also have a variety of facilities, such as an interpretation and translation center for global expansion. So I believe we can overcome difficulties and run the business even without any work experience in other companies.
PREZEM plans to grow into a service perfect for users through active communication.
Q. In just five months since the launch of the iOS version of PREZEM, the number of users has exceeded 1,000, the number of posts has exceeded 10,000, and the app has risen to #83 in the App Store. What was the strategy behind these successes?
From the very beginning of the application launch, we targeted a niche. We started our business by targeting a small number of locations first.
Because the zetciti team is made up of young people, it was easy for them to read the minds of millennials. We read the minds of a generation that wants to lead trends rather than follow them.
We also met with users in person, listened to their feedback on the features they needed and the difficulties in using them, and incorporated all of this into our service planning.
Currently, we are targeting users in their 20s and 30s, but in the future, we want to make our service a community platform to share the current state of various locations. For example, if you lose an item, you can quickly exchange information and find the lost item by communicating with people in the area. Our goal is to expand this into a platform where people can enjoy and share news about every location.
Q. What is the difference between existing social media and PREZEM?
When uploading an image to existing social media, the information is displayed based on the upload time. As a result, we found that the credibility of the information was low, and the location information may have different qualities.
PREZEM uploads photos based on the actual time they were taken, not the upload time. Unlike hashtags on existing social media, PREZEM sorts them based on the timeline, increasing the objectivity of information and allowing more reliable information to be shared.
While it is difficult to distinguish between advertisements and real information on other social media, we have received the most feedback from users that they can get reliable information from PREZEM.
Q. What are the criteria PREZEM uses to determine hot spots?
Initially, the marketing focused on cafes and restaurants with long waiting times. Still, since most customers wanted real-time information about popular places, our app naturally became a service for people in their 20s and 30s to share information about hot places.
The standards for classifying hot places are also different for each person. So we believe any place can become a hot spot by looking at it from different standards without setting specific criteria. In addition to restaurants and cafes, children’s indoor playgrounds can become hot places.
PREZEM allows you to see at a glance what posts have been made within 48 hours, so you can see which areas are popular and when most people usually visit them. This way, we are establishing our hot spot standard.
AI chatbots will provide location information tailored to users’ tastes.
Q. How will AI technology be integrated into PREZEM?
Currently, people are all connected and communicating in real time. Still, in the future, we plan to introduce a location-based AI chatbot to solve the problem when humans cannot provide good answers.
We are planning an AI chatbot that reflects technologies such as analyzing users’ tastes, recommending places that suit them, and answering questions on behalf of humans.
Q. The Seongnam Industry Promotion Agency selected and supported your company as one of the local problem-solving projects and won an excellence award at the Gyeonggi Startup Competition. You have participated in various programs and received awards in Seongnam City. Please tell us more about it.
I have lived in Pangyo for a long time and have witnessed its transformation into an IT city. Office space in the Pangyo Startup Zone is free, and various programs are offered to help early-stage companies.
Seongnam City has a variety of well-established infrastructure, including patent fee support and verification support projects, and the advantage of being in Pangyo, which is part of Seongnam City, is that you can enjoy related benefits. I chose Pangyo without considering other regions when starting a business for these reasons.
Q. Please tell us about zetciti’s plans to enter the global market.
Starting with Korea, we are targeting Asia, including Japan and Vietnam. The social media culture is slightly different from country to country.
We are meeting a lot of local Koreans in Japan and Vietnam, giving them a chance to experience our services, and collecting data through interviews to find out what services interest them the most.
Q. Please tell us about zetciti’s ultimate goal.
The goal is to create a platform that can serve as a big and fun playground by connecting people worldwide based on their locations.
We are now in Pangyo. But my ultimate goal is to create a service that allows you to break the boundaries of time and space and communicate with people at Times Square, New York, once you want to know about that place.
For inquiries and connections with Korean tech companies mentioned in this article, contact us at [email protected]. We’re here to facilitate valuable partnerships.
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