January 28, 2023

South Korea’s Answer to Robinhood and Venmo Lands a $7 Billion Valuation

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.

in Tech
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