19 June 2018Insurance

Korean fintech start-up secures $40m investment from GIC and Sequoia

Viva Republica, a South Korean fintech startup that developed financial services app Toss, has secured a $40 million round of funding from Singapore-based investment firm GIC and Sequoia China.

The latest investment brings the company's total funding raised to $116 million. Viva said this bridge funding round will help it gain significant momentum in accelerating its growth and enhancing product development.

The funding is GIC's first investment in a start-up in Korea and Sequoia China's first investment in a Korean company.

Toss started as a P2P money transfer service in 2015 and has now expanded into a platform providing a full suite of financial services, including credit score management, customised loan/insurance plans, as well as multiple investment services. It has more than 8 million registered users, a customer base that is said to have 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, the company said.

"Toss' evolution as a mobile financial services platform is very impressive. In addition to a seamless user experience and robust technology stack, the company's monetization strategy and revenue growth are also remarkable," said Glen Sun, partner of Sequoia China.

"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."

SG Lee, co-founder and CEO of Viva Republica, commented: "We are proud and honored to become partners with GIC and Sequoia China - some of the world's most prominent investors. 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."

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