Investments

South Korea Payment App Toss Raises $80M

South Korean company Viva Republica, which is behind the payment app Toss, has become the country’s fourth unicorn startup after raising an $80 million funding round at a valuation of $1.2 billion.

The round was led by American VC firms Kleiner Perkins and Ribbit Capital, with participation from Altos Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Goodwater Capital, KTB Network, Novel, PayPal and Qualcomm Ventures.

The news comes a few months after Viva Republica announced that it had completed a $40 million round of funding. The company will use this latest round to create a securities brokerage business, as well as expand its presence across Southeast Asia.

Launched in 2015 by former dentist SG Lee, Toss has over 10 million registered users and carries out over US$1.5 billion in money transfers each month. In addition, the platform offers over 25 financial services including savings/loan accounts, credit score management, customized loan/insurance plans, and multiple investment services.

“South Korea is one of the world’s largest economies and is at the forefront of an emerging fintech movement driven by an explosion of mobile adopters,” Noah Knauf, General Partner at Kleiner Perkins, said in a statement, according to Yahoo News.

“Led by a focused and driven leadership team, Toss’ best-in-class product portfolio is poised to fundamentally transform how consumers access and manage their finances securely and with ease,” he added.

In the meantime, Lee told TechCrunchthat there are plans to do an IPO “at some point,” but the more immediate goal is to expand overseas.

“We’re thinking seriously about going beyond Korea because sooner or later we will hit a saturation point,” Lee said. “We think Vietnam is quite promising. We’ve talked to potential partners and are currently articulating ideas and strategy material for next year.”

He added, “We already have a very successful playbook, we know how to scale among users.”

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