-Taking the K-beauty fashion and launching STYLEPILL and Travel Monday with the global, curation service expertise
-Applying new ICT technologies such as AR, as well as leading content creation business
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One of the industries hit hard with the effects of COVID-19 is the travel industry. Even with the end of the year approaching, because of the new surge of cases, planned vacations are cancelled and meeting up with friends have been put on hold. How are the travel content startups forecasting and preparing for the post-COVID era? We interviewed Gyeonggi-do travel contents startup Hub, who is currently using technology to continue their business.
Eun-ho Yi, CEO of Hub, is an expert who has experience running STYLEPILL, a reverse platform where foreigners can easily purchase Korean beauty and fashion items with a click of a button. STYLEPILL was available in many languages in multiple countries, targeting each region with curated list of Korean merchandise available to purchase following the local trend.
Since then, CEO Eun-ho Yi has expanded into the travel industry after noticing that over 18 million tourists travel to Korea every year with shopping as the goal. He confirmed that the popularity of Korean beauty and fashion items outside Korea stemmed from the demand from those who had visited or were planning on visiting Korea. CEO Yi launched Facebook travel community, Travel Monday, targeting those visiting Korea to go shopping, who would shop at his store before the visit and receive the merchandise once they arrived at their lodging in Korea.
Not too long after the launch, COVID-19 broke out. Just as other startups, Travel Monday suffered a blow. However, they turned this crisis into an opportunity, reimagining the concept of traveling and developing ARLO. ARLO is a bucket list service that can be used to make a list of places you want to travel, activities you want to do, and things you want to eat, and can show those places in augmented reality. Users can view others’ lists and share thoughts, visit different places and enjoy other users’ bucket lists.
Just like this, CEO Eun-ho Yi kept on cultivating the market, although difficulty, through many different services, and continuously strengthened his expertise. It’s the understanding of the global market and the ability to offer curated data. Building on his expertise, CEO Yi will work with other CEOs and soon launch another service that will connect Korea to the global market. It’s a platform that will make Korean beauty and fashion trends easy to view and will digitize and market the clothing businesses at Dongdaemun, which are well known even among the foreigners.
Even though Dongdaemun clothing market is well known, it tends to be influenced much by the reduction of tourism, especially with COVID-19, because of its lack of online presence. CEO Yi is planning on showcasing the Dongdaemun market to the global market, utilizing its existing infrastructure. The name of the service is planned to be “Golara,” meaning “Take your pick.” The pronunciation is easy and familiar in Chinese, and has a double meaning of “small circle” in Hindi.
STYLEPILL targeted international customers interested in Korean merchandise. Travel Monday expanded the target market from those interested in Korean merchandise to those who are even willing to visit Korea. ARLO made AR traveling system available during the COVID-19 era. Now, Golara, a fashion wholesale platform, will become a B2B service that will connect Dongdaemun market to the 1.8 trillion dollar global fashion market. We look forward to the day that CEO Yi’s Hub will become a hub for Korean merchandise and contents that will be enjoyed by international customers, just like Amazon and Alibaba.