Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Enswers Acquires Soompi Korean Entertainment Community

Korean video fingerprinting company Enswers has acquired Soompi, a San Francisco-based company that runs the largest English-language Korean pop culture (K-pop) community site.

Seoul-based Enswers plans to extend Soompi into a video portal, based on relationships it already has to provide video search and copyright detection technology to Korean content providers.

The plan could be particularly interesting given Soompi’s audience is international by design, while online video licensing is traditionally not. A large part of Soompi’s audience is in the U.S., but the company has active members in more than 50 countries.

Soompi founder Susan Kang will remain with the site as chief evangelist, while CEO Joyce Kim will move on. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Soompi has 1.4 million uniques and 22 million page views per month. It started as Kang’s personal Web site in 1998. With Kim at the helm, the company took seed funding in February 2010 from Softbank Ventures Korea.

Kim said she is likely to found another Web start-up. She hails from a family of tech entrepreneurs, including Jared Kim (her younger brother) of WeGame and Jason Calacanis (her brother-in-law) of Mahalo.

Enswers, which was founded in 2007, noted that this is the first time a Korea-based company has bought a Silicon Valley start-up to expand into the U.S. market.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald