A key element of Storm’s strategy is aligning Korea’s strengths with our investment focus, such as Mobile.
Worldwide Leadership in IT (Mobile)
1. South Korea (4.6 seconds) 2. Denmark (5.6) 3. Hong Kong (5.9) 4. Sweden (6.4) 5. Norway (6.9) … United States (9.3 seconds)
Storm’s Korea Strategy
Gain insights on key IT trends early
Korea can help provide the key insights early, such as WiFi would explode (critical assumption to be the first investor in AireSpace in 2001) and mobile video would explode (critical assumption to be the first investor in AirPlug in 2010)
Help US and Korean companies partner with Korean companies
We have helped our portfolio companies partner with leading Korean companies, such as KT, Hyundai, LG, Samsung and SKT. In addition, KT and NHN are limited partners in Storm.
Beomsup Kim (VP of Qualcomm and cofounder of Berkana):
“Storm was the lead investor in the Series A financing for Berkana Wireless and stayed with us for five years. During the time, all the Storm partners were extremely helpful and provided us with precious advice and support . The company grew with them. Especially, Tae Hea was always available and guided us in various ways, including funding strategies, customer relationships, recruiting, business development and product roadmap. Tae Hea is very well connected with the Korean customers and venture capitalists and helped the company get engaged with customers in the early stages and build credit in Korea. From his experience in making successful startups in Silicon Valley, Tae Hea gave us confidence for the company’s ultimate success. With Tae Hea’s help along with support from various venture capitalists and advisors, Berkana Wireless successfully raised Series A and B funds and was eventually acquired by Qualcomm, where the Berkana Engineering team has delivered phenomenal outcomes by producing profitable top selling products and achieving huge revenue. I strongly recommend to have Tae Hea as a partner for a startup. He will guide them to success.“
Korean entrepreneurs and IT expertise
Education firm Pearson ranked the education systems in the developed world based on various measures, including international test scores, graduation rates and prevalence of higher education seekers.
1. Finland (population of 5 million) 2. South Korea (50 million) 3. Hong Kong (7 million) 4. Japan (127 million) 5. Singapore (5 million) ….17. United States (315 million)“Not long ago, South Korean graduates dreamed of lifetime jobs at Samsung Electronics or one of the other chaebol. Now, … [there are t]housands of aspiring entrepreneurs powered an 83 percent surge in the number of South Korean technology startups in the four years through 2011, according to Korea Venture Business Assn.” Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Sep 2012.
Invest in Korean Founders (especially in Mobile startups)
At Storm, we have invested in many mobile companies started by Korean founders:
Help Korean companies in US
We have helped our Korean portfolio companies partner in the United States (and Korea too). For example, Storm incubated the Com2uS US team in its office, which enabled Storm to work closely with the Com2uS US team.
Ji Young Park, cofounder and CEO of Com2uS:
"After investing in Com2uS, Tae Hea Nahm of Storm Ventures has continued to work as a board member and provided advice on corporate growth, global competition and management efficiency. Unlike Korean VCs who supply only funding, TH Nahm has showed great interest in the company and understanding of our long term goals . And, he has provided his trust and support for the management to achieve these goals. Based on his understanding of markets, business environment and global insight, he finds simple solutions to complex business problems. He also has identified new business opportunities for us. Additionally, he has helped Com2uS formulate its global strategy and expand into the US market by utilizing his network in the US. We would like to strongly recommend Tae Hea Nahm and Storm Ventures as an ideal strategic partner to any Korean start-ups who would like to compete in global market."
Junmo Koo, founder and CEO of MCW:
"The business environment for start ups in Korea is different from the US. Because Korea has many good engineers and great IT infrastructure, Korea has good resources for IT start ups. However, Korea’s economic structure is based on conglomerate, and this economic structure can restrict new start ups. MCW was the first company in the world to commercialize a H.264 based mobile multimedia solution, but it was not simple to turn this technical success and experience to the growth of the company. At this critical time, we were very lucky to meet Storm Ventures and Tae Hea Nahm as investors. Unlike other investors who only focused on the final results, TH Nahm set clear objectives for us and provided continuous advise and feedback. He also helped us with introductions to US global companies. Through these processes, MCW became one of the few Korean start ups who successfully entered into business with global companies. TH Nahm’s constructive encouragement and support were essential to the management team until MCW was purchased by Core Logic. In other words, Storm Ventures and Tae Hea Nahm are not simple investors but they are business partners fully vested in company’s strategy and operation. This is the reason why our team is so happy to partner again with Storm Ventures and Tae Hea Nahm for our next start up."