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Toss operator raises fresh $64 million of funding

Aug 09,2019
Viva Republica, a fintech and developer of the Toss app, raised 77 billion won ($64 million) in a funding round led by Aspex Management, a Hong Kong-based investment manager.

The company said on Thursday that the funding marks the first time that the investor has purchased equity in a non-listed entity.

Other investors include Menlo Park, California-based Kleiner Perkins, Menlo Park, California-based Altos Ventures, which specializes in Korean start-ups, and Beijing-based Sequoia Capital China, according to Viva Republica.

With the latest funding, the fintech firm has taken in a total of 300 billion won in investment and is valued at 2.7 trillion won.

After building a strong user base with its money-transfer service, Toss is on track to expand into a broad range of financial services, including the sale of funds and insurance.

It was a bidder for an internet-only bank license, although it failed to obtain final approval from the financial authorities.

At the time, the Financial Services Commission and Financial Supervisory Service noted that the start-up lacks the financing capacity to run a digital-focused bank.

Market analysts say that the newly raised funds could be committed to developing new services.

Toss filed an application with the Financial Services Commission to directly run its own securities business in May rather than bring in products and funds from other companies.

Total user numbers for the service have broken the 13 million mark.

The popularity helped boost the company’s valuations, making it one of the country’s first fintech firms to become a “unicorn” start-up.

It really took off when Viva Republica raised $80 million in a funding round last December, ascending to a unicorn status with a $1.2 billion valuation.

Kleiner Perkins and Palo Alto-based Ribbit Capital participated in the funding.

Altos Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Goodwater Capital, KTB Network, Novel, PayPal and Qualcomm Venture also participated in the round.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]