S. Korea's leading fintech startup Toss raises $173 mln in new funding

By Lim Chang-won Posted : August 28, 2020, 15:03 Updated : August 28, 2020, 15:03

[Courtesy of Viva Republica]

SEOUL -- The operator of Toss, a leading fintech startup in South Korea, has raised $173 million in new funding led by key existing investors that would support its drive to become a one-stop app for all financial needs. Viva Republica was upbeat as the new investment came amid global market turmoil caused by a COVID-19 pandemic.

Toss has now secured a total of $530 million, positioning itself as an "undisputed leader" in South Korea's mobile finance and took another step forward towards its goal to provide a full suite of financial services all in one app, Viva said, promising to consolidate various financial products and offer the most customized recommendation of products from financial institutions by leveraging user engagement data.

"We are building a financial super app fundamentally innovating across every facet of consumer finance," Viva CEO Lee Seung-gun said in a statement. "We believe that this fundraising has brought us a step closer to reaching our goal and we will continue to dedicate our efforts until we revolutionize all financial activities within everyday lives through Toss."

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 as Toss allowed users to access and manage credit, loans, insurance, investment and more from financial service providers.

In December 2019, a consortium led by Toss secured temporary state approval to launch South Korea's third internet-only bank after its innovative ideas won over financial regulators. Toss has also acquired a securities brokerage license and the payments business unit of LG Uplus (LGU+), a mobile carrier in South Korea.

Viva said Toss has become a top contender to lead payment processing in South Korea's rapidly growing ecommerce market with its new payment gateway, Toss Payments, that allows subscribers to make purchases online.

Toss Securities is expected to disrupt a market where incumbent players have not been able to win millennials who have been one of the most active demographic in stocks, Viva said, adding that as of August, Toss has over 17 million registered users and has processed transactions worth $10 billion.
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