Toss snags $80 million from us investors to become korea’s first fintech unicorn
13 de Diciembre, 2018
Tiempo estimado de lectura: 3 minutos
South Korean fintech Toss has raised an $80 million funding round led by US-based firms Kleiner Perkins and Ribbit Capital
South Korean fintech Toss has raised an $80 million funding round led by US-based firms Kleiner Perkins and Ribbit Capital, with participation from Altos Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, PayPal, and Qualcomm Ventures, among others. This brings Toss’ valuation to $1.2 billion, making it the latest fintech unicorn globally, and Korea’s first.
Toss started out offering peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, but has since added other services — including insurance, investments, savings accounts, credit score management, and a financial dashboard that allows users to see all of their finances in one place — by partnering with third parties. Toss already has 10 million registered users, meaning it reaches around 20% of Korea’s population with its services.
Toss will use the fresh capital to improve its technology and for customer acquisition. Additionally, Toss aims to partner more financial institutions (FIs) to broaden its product offerings, including by adding a securities brokerage business. Expanding its marketplace will help the company to stay relevant in a competitive environment — rival KakaoPay is backed by heavyweight Alibaba, for example — and build a meaningful relationship with its users that extends from just making payments using the platform. Offering different financial services in one place is a trend we have mostly seen in Europe; however, it seems the model is now expanding to other geographies. Toss wants to expand its services within Korea, but is also eyeing potential expansions to Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam.
US capital flowing into a Korean fintech startup may help boost the country’s fintech ecosystem. Korea has taken its time developing its first fintech unicorn, and is currently still behind regional rivals India and China on this front. However, given the interest from international investors — PayPal led a previous funding round in Toss’ — it seems that confidence in the country’s fintech sector is increasing. As such, we may see more foreign investors seeking out Korean fintechs for future investment. This will help fuel the country’s fintech growth, and push more fintechs startups to establish themselves in Korea
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