Korean startup Letsee’s CEO Sangchul Ahn started the WebAR technology company in 2014 as a researcher at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. Sangchul founded Letsee to convince the world about the possibilities of WebAR.
Today, Letsee uses web ecosystems to utilize the limitless content on its open platform quickly and allows users to view the WebAR experiences without installing other apps on their devices. The company’s main product is the Letsee WebAR SDK, popular among digital advertising agencies and content producers. The product provides WebAR solutions that can be used for Marketing and Branding, Education and Culture, User Manuals, and IoT Device Control.
Letsee CEO Sangchul Ahn had a quick chat with koreatechdesk.com about its main products, marketing design, and motivation to start the company.
1. Please tell me about your background and what motivated you to get started with your company?
Before starting my business, I was a researcher at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). I founded Letsee to convince the world about the possibilities of web-based mixed reality technology, which was the subject of my Ph.D. research.
2. What is your current main product, and can you share any previous product pivot story to the current product?
Our flagship product is the Letsee WebAR SDK. This technology makes it possible to create web apps with AR features quickly and easily. Immersive AR content can be delivered directly to the end-user without any need to install the mobile app.
3. What is the market opportunity for your product?
Augmented Reality content can be interactive, engaging, and mesmerizing, but end-users had to download and learn to use a new mobile App. The new mobile apps also mean that Businesses have to develop, publish, and support mobile Apps, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Our Web AR solution is suitable for various markets, starting with digital advertising and e-commerce and education, retail, enterprise, games, etc.
4. What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue? What strategy worked best?
Letsee WebAR SDK sells subscription-based licenses with pricing policy depending on usage, making it possible for businesses to choose a suitable subscription plan with projects of any sizes and budgets. Our primary customers are digital advertising agencies or content producers.
5. Please tell me more about your founding team.
I am the founder and CEO of Letsee and the person behind the leading technology.
6. How much money have you raised in total so far? When was the recent funding round?
In May 2018, we attracted 300 million won of institutional investment in the Pre-A stage and are currently preparing for the next round.
7. What are the biggest challenges and obstacles that you have faced in the process of fund-raising? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
As it is a business based on Emerging technology, it was challenging to secure essential data such as revenue and active users. We are currently collecting market feedback and building our portfolio step by step, almost from scratch.
8. What are your milestones for the next round? And what are your goals for the future?
We are now focused on developing authoring capabilities that easily and quickly allow anyone to create and publish WebAR content on the Letsee WebAR platform. Building a Web XR search portal service for smart glasses is the goal for the near future.
9. How have you attracted users, and with what strategy have you grown your company from the start to now?
Letsee’s business model is B2B based. We could grow our company by establishing key partnerships. We believe it is vital to choose the fastest path to the customers and hear their feedback.
10. What do most startups get wrong about marketing in general?
Successful brands are built on multiple elements, including Marketing. However, it is crucial to understand that marketing won’t save a product that doesn’t solve its problems.
11. How do you plan to expand globally?
All our previous projects were with companies in Korea, and we are looking forward to expanding internationally. We are currently preparing for the launching in the foreign markets. That includes product development and marketing preparations, participation in Accelerating programs, and various expo/trade shows. We are looking for partners in the European market. Newmarket analysis by Digi-Capital, a Silicon Valley-based XR adviser, says that Europe will account for a quarter of the global augmented, virtual, and mixed reality marketplace by 2023, 40% more than North America.
12. How do you handle this COVID-19 outbreak situation for your company’s survival in the future?
We are making the most available online channels to promote our company and the product, including various trade shows and exhibitions.
13. What are the top-three books or movies (TV series) that changed your life and why?
Physics (Aristotle) – inspired me to invent the core technology of Letsee.
Being digital (Negroponte) – guided me to get into the human-computer interaction field.
Minority report (Movie) – encouraged me to develop immersive media.
14. How do you keep yourself motivated every day?
I try to feel satisfied and accomplished by completing small things that can be done in a day.
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