Singapore’s GIC, Sequoia China invest $40m in Korean fintech startup Viva Republica

Lee Seung-gun founder Viva Republica. Photographer: Jean Chung/Bloomberg

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and venture investor Sequoia Capital China have together invested $40 million in the funding round of Seoul-based Viva Republica, the parent of financial services app Toss, as per an announcement on Monday.

The investments brings Viva Republica’s total funding raised to $116 million. The funding also marks GIC’s first investment in a Korean startup. And, for Sequoia China, the deal would be its first in a Korean firm.

Other investors in Viva Republica include PayPal, Bessemer Venture Partners, Goodwater Capital and Altos Ventures.

With this bridge funding round, Viva Republica will gain significant momentum in accelerating its growth and enhancing product development,  the company said in a statement.

“This bridge round is a strategic investment which will enable us to explore major opportunities such as investments and acquisitions to become the go-to service for all consumer financial needs while providing superb user experience,” said SG Lee, co-founder and CEO of Viva Republica.

Started as a peer-to-peer money transfer service in 2015, Toss also delivers a range of other financial services including financial dashboard, credit score management service, and customized loan/insurance plans, and other investment services.

With more than 8 million registered users, a customer base that has nearly doubled from a year ago, Toss is expected to process over $17 billion in transaction run-rate and has a total trackable monthly transaction volume of about $10 billion, it said.

“In addition to a seamless user experience and robust technology stack, the company’s monetization strategy and revenue growth are also remarkable. In Toss, we see all the signs of a successful company that we’ve witnessed in our portfolio – companies that have grown to become Asia’s leading unicorns. We strongly believe that Toss will dominate the Korean market and become a fintech giant.” said Glen Sun, Partner of Sequoia China.

Viva Republica had closed a $48 million Series C funding round led by San Mateo-based VC firm Goodwater Capital, and joined by payment giant PayPal in March last year, after securing a $23.7 million Series B round also from Goodwater a year prior.

Also Read:

Paypal joins Goodwater-led $48m round for Korea’s Viva Republica

S Korea: Viva Republica gets $23m Series B from Goodwater Capital, Qualcomm

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.