Toss takes on SoftBank-backed Grab in SEA

Viva Republica, one of South Korea’s most valued fintech start-ups, plans to raise up to $1 billion from overseas investors in the second quarter to fund the growth of its mobile app Toss and compete in Southeast Asia with SoftBank-backed rivals Grab and GoTo.

The start-up, which is backed by Singapore’s GIC, PayPal, and Sequoia Capital China, raised $410 million in June at a valuation of $7.4 billion, and is looking for more money before launching an IPO. To far, the company has raised about $940 million in equity capital.

Following its entry into Vietnam in 2019, where it attracted 3 million active users with money transfer and debit card services, the company is now expanding into five more countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and India, where it will compete with Singapore’s Grab and Indonesia’s GoTo, two of the region’s largest technology firms.

“We’ve never thought of ourselves as a Korean market player,” the company’s founder and chief executive Lee Seung-gun said in an interview. “Our strategy of rebundling as a super app is very interesting to our investors.”

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