Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Flyfan is the Korean Pioneer of "Commerce 2.0"

Founded in 2009 by Korean web veterans, Flyfan is an e-commerce startup whose mission is to "innovate e-commerce using the social web."

Flyfan's first service is 1forME. (See the review by Web 2.0 Asia.) 1forME in its current form is largely the Etsy of Korea -- marketplace for artist handmade goods. But the company plans to differentiate itself from Etsy by building what it calls the "eBay for Custom Goods."

The idea is to build a reverse-auction marketplace for custom goods. Suppose a user wants to order custom-designed furniture. The user goes to Flyfan's marketplace site, and specificies what he wants. Then individual artists or small businesses interested in building that particular piece of furniture enter the bidding and win the order. Flyfan also says the company plans to "apply the concept of group buying to the custom production, helping custom production adopted by the mass."

Flyfan's founders come a long way: Three years ago, there was a starup study group called "Me2camp" (deriving its name from Me2day, Korea's Twitter-like microblogging service, through which the study group members have met each other). The study group, which had 11 people at some point, turned out to be the origin of five startups, including Flyfan. They want to be the "Paypal Mafia" of Korea.

Flyfan's co-founders and the first employee each come from the three biggest internet companies of Korea: Naver, Daum, and NC Soft (the online gaming company). CEO Jiwoong Chung has 5+ years of experience as a web developer and his personal mission is to "make the world better through collective efforts of individuals."

Here is Flyfan's English website.

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