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[TechM] MWC 24 SMEs have a 'presence' at MWC... FourByFour, Bitsensing, and Crypto get 'green light' to expand European sales

Updated: Mar 19

TechM 2024-02-27

[MWC 24] SMEs have a 'presence' at MWC... FourByFour, Bitsensing, Crypto get 'green light' to expand European sales

The world's largest mobile exhibition, MWC 24, is taking place in Barcelona, Spain, and it's not just telecoms companies like SK Telecom and KT, and big tech giants like Samsung Electronics. While the focus is on the big players, there are also a number of startups at MWC that have the potential to become major players in four years' time. That's because of 4YFN (4 Year Fro Now), an annual event held on the sidelines of MWC.

Every year, notable startups showcase their honed technologies to global buyers at 4YFN. This year, a number of indigenous SMEs are using 4YFN to expand their European reach. These include 4by4, whose Pixel dramatically improves video quality through AI technology, Bitsensing, a company that develops imaging radar solutions, and Zkrypto, which has a blockchain-based voting system.

At the 4YFN exhibition booth at MWC on the 27th (local time), several Korean companies were working hard to expand their global sales. The most notable booth was set up by promising startups that have proven their business models and growth potential through the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's Baby Unicorn Fostering Project.  

MWC 24의 부대행사인 4YFN에 참가한 포바이포가 '픽셀' 솔루션을 관람객들에게 소개하고 있다./ 사진=허준 기자

At the booth, we met 4by4, which showcased its AI-based image quality enhancement solution, Pixel. Pixel is a solution that enhances image quality for specialised displays such as extended reality (XR) and virtual reality (VR), as well as bitrate reduction technology for maximum transmission efficiency in mobile environments.

The ability to dramatically improve the quality of low-quality footage caught the attention of many global buyers. A demonstration video in the middle of the exhibition hall showed a low-quality video made in the 1950s with a high-quality image, and the clear image quality was enough to attract passers-by.

"We've had several meetings with buyers who want to transform their sports or CCTV footage into high-definition," said Sungwan Bae, Head of Pixel Business at 4by4. "We're looking forward to exploring new industries and collaborations at MWC."

MWC 24의 부대행사인 4YFN에 참가한 비트센싱 전시부스 /사진=허준 기자

Bitsensing was another company that attracted attention at the Baby Unicorn booth. Bitsensing is a company that has achieved sales of 12 billion won as of last year by focusing on 4D imaging radar solutions for autonomous driving, next-generation traffic radar 'TIMOS', and sleep care solution 'AI Wellness Radar'. It is a proven startup that is preparing for an initial public offering (PO) in 2025. 

In particular, Bitsensing's 4D imaging radar solution for autonomous driving was selected as one of the top five finalists in the 4YFN Awards. The awards are a global competition to find the best digital startups, and the top five are selected through a three-month application and judging process, followed by an on-stage pitch during the event. Bitsensing is favoured to win, and the winner will receive a €20,000 cash prize, a free pass to MWC 2025, and the opportunity to speak at 4YFN 2025.

Zkrypto, which has a blockchain-based voting system technology, also participated in MWC through 4YFN. Zkrypto is a company that won the CES Innovation Award at CES, an IT exhibition held in the United States, last year and this year for two consecutive years. Zkrypto is a company that showcases various services using zero-knowledge proof, which is a popular blockchain technology. The company has proven its technology enough to participate in the CBDC project of the Bank of Korea.

MWC 24의 부대행사인 4YFN에 참가한 '지크립토' 전시 부스 /사진=허준 기자

In particular, services that use blockchain to visually verify voting and counting are attracting the most attention. As voters can directly check the transparency of the voting process, it is said to increase the reliability and security of voting. In addition to voting, blockchain wallet services, blockchain logistics services, and blockchain settlement services are being prepared.

"After participating in the Bank of Korea's CBDC project, we were able to find business opportunities through several meetings with major Spanish banks that are expanding their sales to the financial sector," said Seolryong Kim, a senior researcher at Zkrypto. "We could see that there is already a high level of understanding of blockchain and zero-knowledge proof in Europe."

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