This is the sixth post in our series: Discover Korea’s Tech, where we will talk to a mix of Korean startup entrepreneurs who stood their own ground with their technology, in Korea’s economy notoriously dominated by gigantic companies. Stay tuned over the coming month as we talk to Korean entrepreneurs. You can follow our updates @technodechina for new stories in the series.
Eating can sometimes prove to be the biggest adventure when travelling abroad. Each time you order, after examining an inscrutable menu with no pictures to guide you, it’s anyone’s guess what will actually come out, leading to some awkward and frustrating moments.
REDTABLE wants to leverage big data to lessen friction when ordering food in a foreign country.
“There are half a million restaurants in South Korea, but it’s not easy to integrate these restaurants on mobile,” CEO of REDTABLE, Haeyong Do says.
For foreign travelers visiting local restaurants, REDTABLE aims to provide a translated menu on the mobile, so that they can order the menu and pay using their phones. Currently, franchise companies targeting overseas markets are using REDTABLE’s solution to translate their menu.
REDTABLE came up with an algorithm that analyzes Food and Beverage big data to compare the restaurants. It also rates the best restaurant in the category by analyzing the vocabulary used in restaurant reviews on blogs and social media.
The app currently supports four languages: English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. The half of its app users are Chinese outbound travelers visiting Seoul.
“There’s demand from the either sides, both Korea and China. China sees increased outbound travelers, and Chinese companies want to find ways to make them use their platform, and Korean companies want to find ways to tract new Chinese customers to their service,” Mr. Do says.
REDTABLE is working as a bridge to connect the two sides by providing top local restaurant lists in Korea to Chinese services. Chinese customers can still use their local services like Ctrip, Tuniu, LY.com and Alitrip and Dianping in Korea to find fair restaurants. REDTABLE app is connected to Alipay and WeChat payment, which allows customers to pay via mobile on its app or on Dazhong Dianping. Once the order is made, they share the commission with the Korean company.
Founded in 2011 by students majoring in hotel managements, the company is expanding into China market. The total sales volume is expected to reach 300 million KRW ($255,000 USD) this year.
REDTABLE is supported by K-ICT Born2Global Center, a major Korean government agency under the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP).
Image Credit: REDTABLE