Building Bridges- Seoul to Tel Aviv: Episode 1 Colu and Zeex

As part of our initiative to put the spotlight on startups in Korea and beyond, the Startup Radar Team recently traveled to Israel where we were fortunate enough to meet some of the countries most innovative startups. The Spotlight on Israel series will focus on the most promising talent we met. As well as this, we want to share some of the lessons that we learned from these businesses for you to use in your startup strategy.

Up first are Zeex and Colu, two blockchain startups with the shared vision of mass cryptocurrency adoption but completely unique business models and ideas.


Zeex is a mobile app offering a simple shopping experience that allows crypto holders to shop at their favorite retailers, using the coins they hold. With the app, users can spend their crypto on real products without the additional (and costly) step of converting it into Fiat currency. Among the many brands that support the app are H&M, ASOS, Amazon, and Apple.

This is perfect for people who have crypto but don’t really know what to do with it. Rather than just focussing on growing what they have, they can spend it on real things in the real economy.

The Zeex system is intuitive to use for any user- even those who know nothing about blockchain. And, if you think about it, that’s the way it should be. We can all use PayPal but few of us understand the underlying system that operates. Blockchain startups need to focus more on the User Experience and less on using exclusionary industry jargon.

Startups in Israel Colu

In actual fact, the Zeex system is built upon a complex, secured inventory management system based on the rails of virtual gift cards- but the user never need know about this.

Given the success of similar platforms in Korea, such as Kakao Gift on Kakao Talk, we think that this idea could really take off in the Korean market.

Zeex’s philosophy made us think a lot about how making real-world crypto use easier will promote mass adoption. As blockchain pioneers, we completely share their vision. Making blockchain and cryptocurrency more accessible to the majority of the population is the key to a decentralized future.

Startups in Israel Zeex

Plus, we also learned a thing or two about office interior design from them. (And are seriously considering bringing a rooftop garden to Startup Radar HQ now…)


Startups in Israel Zeex

Colu is a digital wallet app that aims to localize cryptocurrency use in communities. Through the app, people in a specific area can form their own unique coin and use it as a local micro-currency. This micro-currency can then be spent easily through the app at participating local businesses. Not only will this unique business model help make cryptocurrency more accessible, it’ll also help promote a fairer community-based economy.

The app is currently live in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Liverpool, and London, with each city having its own unique coin. The 4 cities have 150,000 users combined.

Startups in Israel Colu

In London, a huge variety of different small local businesses are connected to the app. This ranges from gelato stores to yoga studios, coffee shops, and even steamed dumpling restaurants. Because of the choice available and ease of payment, the app users are naturally inclined to support these independent establishments. This is great for locals businesses and will help strengthen local communities.

Startups in Israel Zeex

Cryptocurrency being for the greater good of society is a refreshing concept in a scene that’s dominated by millionaire day-traders. We hope that this can be a trend that we see coming out of talented blockchain startups in Korea.

So, before you head off today, leave us a comment and let us know:

How do you think cryptocurrency and blockchain startups can make changes for the greater good?

Nicole Arnott
Nicole Arnott

Nicole Arnott is a creative copywriter and content strategist hailing from Glasgow, Scotland. She's helped develop meaningful content for start-ups in a wide variety of industries from blockchain to beauty, and health and wellness. She's currently a global SNS marketer for the SNS blockchain company, Foresting, and editor at Startup Radar.

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