PayPal is amongst the investors in a funding round for Viva Republica which is the company developing Korean financial services app Toss. The series C round clocks in at $48 million. The aim is to further streamline online payments in South Korea.
Toss was founded by former dentist SG Lee who was frustrated by the unsophisticated payment systems in Korea and he was determined to find a more efficient method of taking money online. To date Toss has processed more than USD $3 billion in transactions by 6 million users. Toss is particularly popular with Korean millennials and expects to count 50% of them as users by the end of 2017.
Lee says: “Before Toss, users required five passwords and around 37 clicks to transfer $10. With Toss users need just 1 password and three steps to transfer up to KRW 500,000 ($430). The market is huge and ready to embrace really great financial service but nobody is pushing forward for it.”
Korea is an interesting market that is sometimes overshadowed by the scale of China and India with their huge populations. But not only is it the world’s 11th biggest economy, with a population of 50 million, it has the world’s highest smartphone ownership rate. And 80% of consumer spending is via cards with credit and debit card holders making nearly double the number of monthly transactions compared to US shoppers.