S Korean fintech Viva Republica raises $173m from Sequoia Capital China, others

SG Lee, co-founder and CEO, Toss

Viva Republica, the operator of peer-to-peer payment service Toss, has raised $173 million in a round led by existing investors including Sequoia Capital China, the South Korea-based fintech said Friday.

Other existing investors participating in the round included Aspex Management, Kleiner Perkins Digital Growth Fund, Altos Ventures, Goodwater Capital, and Greyhound Capital, the company said in a press release.

In May, Bloomberg reported Viva Republica aimed to raise around $200 million.

The funding is earmarked for building a “one-stop” financial app to provide customized product recommendations from banks and securities and insurance companies by using user-engagement data, Viva Republica said.

“We are building a financial super app fundamentally innovating across every facet of consumer finance. 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,” said SG Lee, co-founder and CEO of Viva Republica.

The deal values Toss at $2.6 billion, with the company landing a total of $530 million in funding so far, it added.

Toss, launched in 2015 as a money transfer service, has been downloaded 49 million times, and has more than 17 million registered users, the statement said. The platform now provides a range of financial services, including banking, money transfer, dashboard and credit score management.

Late last year, Viva Republica obtained preliminary approval to operate a digital bank, Toss Bank, in South Korea, which would make it the country’s third digital bank after Kakao Bank and K Bank. Operations were expected to begin in 2021.

Viva Republica said Friday it planned to “disrupt” the mid-interest-range loan market, using proprietary user data to lower delinquency rates for subprime credit lending.

Toss has previously raised $261.2 million from 16 investors, including from PayPal Ventures, GIC and Victor Koch, according to Crunchbase data.

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.