Since its launch in 2015, South Korean payment app Toss has become the country’s largest FinTech with 10 million monthly active users.
Founded by former dentist SG Lee, Toss became the country’s fourth unicorn startup in 2018, and has currently raised in total more than $350 million at a valuation of $2.4 billion. Its investors have included PayPal, Goodwater Capital, GIC Pte, Altos Ventures.
Toss recently hit a major milestone, reaching its first break-even month in April and now processing 4.5 trillion won ($3.7 billion) of transactions each month. The app handled about 9.2 percent of the country’s online transfers last year. It also offers over 25 financial services including savings/loan accounts, credit score management, customized loan/insurance plans, and multiple investment services.
And now comes word that its parent company, Viva Republica, has even bigger plans for Toss: It wants to turn it into a super app that combines the same services provided by companies such as Paypal, Robinhood, and Credit Karma. There are also plans to offer securities brokerage services and loans to small businesses and consumers with interest rates between 5 percent and 15 percent, as well as the goal of building an Internet bank that would launch sometime during the summer of 2021.
In order to make all of this a reality, Viva Republica has launched a funding round to raise $200 million (USD) in the coming months.
“There were concerns among the market whether FinTech is a profitable business,” Lee said in a recent interview. “Toss proves that it can achieve fast growth and make profits at the same time.”
The company aims to hire 200 workers for its online bank unit and as many as 90 employees for the brokerage service. Toss is also exploring the possibility of expanding outside of South Korea. The app has already rolled out a reward service in Vietnam, attracting 300,000 monthly active users, and is looking into opportunities in Southeast Asia and Japan.
Lee even revealed that the company would like to go public in two to three years, with a listing in South Korea, Hong Kong, the U.S. or two of the destinations.