A South Korean company whose app lets users transfer money, take out loans, trade stocks and check their credit scores has raised funds at a valuation of more than $7 billion, making it one of the world’s most valuable financial-technology startups.
Viva Republica Inc., which operates the multifunction app Toss, said Wednesday it completed a round of fundraising worth 460 billion Korean won, the equivalent of $406 million, with investors including Alkeon Capital Management, Altos Ventures and Greyhound Capital.
The deal highlights how South Korea has incubated numerous unicorns, or private companies worth more than $1 billion, despite a domestic market of fewer than 52 million consumers.
Toss has also benefited from a supportive government stance—in contrast with China where fintech giant Ant Group Co. and smaller rivals have faced intensifying regulatory scrutiny.
In a statement, Viva Republica said it is valued at 8.2 trillion won, or about $7.2 billion, including the new money, which is more than twice its worth a year ago. A recent tally of unicorns by research firm CB Insights showed only 10 such startups world-wide focusing on finance that were worth $7 billion or more, although that list doesn’t include Ant, and some of the largest fintech startups on that list, like Stripe and Klarna, are worth considerably more than Viva Republica.