Fintech unicorn Toss attracts 64mln fund from foreign investors

By Park Sae-jin Posted : August 8, 2019, 15:39 Updated : August 8, 2019, 15:39

[Courtesy of Toss]

SEOUL -- Unaffected by its failure to win state approval as a new internet-only bank, the operator of Toss, a popular fintech unicorn in South Korea, has attracted a fresh investment of $64 million from foreign investors, underscoring its growth potential. The company's enterprise value is estimated at $2.2 billion.

Viva Republica said in a statement on Thursday that the investment came from Aspex Management, a Hong Kong-based investment company, and Kleiner Perkins, an American venture capital firm, as well as other existing investors. The company said its accumulated investment has reached 300 billion won ($247.8) since Toss offered a one-stop smartphone banking service in 2015.

Viva made its foray into South Korea's digital banking and peer-to-peer payment service with Toss which provided one-stop internet banking and transaction services in February 2015. The simple banking service quickly gained popularity to grab 13 million users by 2019. Toss allows users to access and manage credit, loans, insurance, investment and more from financial service providers.

During its journey to become a tech unicorn, Viva Republica has successfully raised money from foreign investors including Singapore's GIC and Sequoia China, the Chinese branch of global venture capital Sequoia Capital.

Buoyed by its relentless success, Viva has benchmarked European digital challenger banks to become the country's third internet-only bank, but it failed to secure preliminary approval from financial regulators after South Korea's leading financial group, Shinhan, withdrew as a key partner in a technical dispute.
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