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Find the 'Solution' to One-Third of Life: Asleep, Chosen as a Partner for President Yoon's US Visit

|by Asleep

    "We will find the 'right answer' to sleep, which accounts for one-third of your life.”

    "With the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and large-scale data processing technology, it is now possible to properly understand the quality of sleep," said Lee Dong-heon, CEO of sleep tech startup Asleep, on 20th. Lee founded the startup in July 2020, when he was pursuing a master's program at KAIST, with a lab colleague.

    The three-year-old startup is considered to have the world's most advanced sleep monitoring technology. Instead of using complicated existing measurement methods such as brain waves and breathing analysis, Asleep uses AI to analyze the breathing sounds of sleepers to monitor sleep quality. You don't need to wear a device, just turn on your smartphone to analyze your sleep status. Asleep has advanced its technology with Stanford University Sleep Center and Seoul National University Bundang hospital. In recognition of this technology, Lee will accompany President Yoon Suk-yeol on an business delegation to the United States on March 24. Lee and Jang Ji-ho, CEO of Doctornow, are the only two entrepreneurs in their 20s included in the delegation.

    Asleep is the third entrepreneurial endeavor for Lee, who was born in 1994. He launched a legal advisory service and an AI-based battery performance check service, but the business was shut down after failing to secure customers. "When I was younger, I had so many things I wanted to do that I studied how to sleep well in a short period of time since middle school," he said. "When I was thinking about my third startup, I decided to try a sleep-related service that I have been interested in all my life." The specific item was found at CES, the world's largest IT and consumer electronics show. Since 2017, he's been going to CES every year. He saw the global sleep tech market growing. "There were a lot of products that claimed to help people sleep better, but it was hard to find a technology or service that properly evaluated their performance," Lee said. The company focused on sleep monitoring, a key but underserved area of the sleep tech industry.

    The company developed a sleep monitoring technology that analyzes breathing sounds, but had trouble finding collaborators. "Even if the technology is good, the best business strategy comes from sales," Lee said. "We handed out business cards to people on the first floor of large corporate offices such as LG Electronics and Amorepacific for several days." After handing out more than 1,000 business cards, LG Electronics contacted him. Samsung Life Insurance and Amorepacific have also become partners.

    The company's technology was quickly recognized overseas. In 2021, it was selected as the first Korean startup to collaborate with Amazon in the United States. At this year's CES, officials from French cosmetics company L'Oréal visited the company's booth to discuss cooperation.

    The company plans to launch collaboration products with large domestic and foreign companies this year. The company will also add features to Sleep Routine, an app that helps users sleep. "We will grow into the world's leading sleep monitoring platform company and expand related businesses such as sleep therapy," said Lee.


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    2023.04.20ㅣKorea Economic Daily - Lee Dong-heon, CEO of Asleep: "Finding the 'Solution' to One-Third of Life"