‘Toss’ – a P2P money transfer service from the Korean startup Viva Republica has changed the way mobile financial transfers happen in the country. The fastest growing FinTech company has developed ‘Toss’ into a full fledged financial platform serving individual needs.
Transforming P2P money transfer dynamics
‘Toss’ was launched in 2015 by a dentist, Lee Seung-Gun, who believed in the power of mobile finance. He literally fought tooth and nail to get the app moving and reach out to millions of people. After several failed attempts at building apps, Lee hit the jackpot with this bona fide mobile money transfer app ‘Toss’. In fact, initially ‘Toss’ was closed down by financial regulators, but then prolonged negotiations and convincing finally did pave the way for the FinTech platform’s success.
Today Toss has over 8 million registered users, about 20% of South Korea’s population, transacting over $1.4 billion each month. The company received $40 million in June 2018 from Sequoia China and GIC Pte. Making the total raised funds for the startup to $116 million. The peer to peer app allows users to transact as much as 2 million won or about $1822 per day, which is quite impressive. Toss has helped unclog the banking system, which with its security protocol and cumbersome money transferring process was not user friendly.
Toss’ mission is to resolve the inconveniences in Korean finance
through services that are simple, logical and intuitive to use,
without compromising security.
Toss now has expanded to become a financial dashboard offering number of services apart from P2P money transfers. Toss offers credit score management, interest-earning saving accounts and investment opportunities in real estate and mutual funds. In 2017, Toss also got backing from companies like PayPal Holdings Inc., Goodwater Capital and Altros Venturas. Toss was given the “App of the Year” title in 2016 by Google Play and in 2017 it was ranked 35th in the list of 100 promising FinTech companies by KPMG. Toss has recorded no security breach since its launch making it one of the most secure money transfer app in the country. The annual transaction run rate for the startup has been estimated at about $17 billion.
Mission to become the best in the market
Toss’s main rival in Korea is considered to be Kakao, the country’s most popular messaging app, which has its money transfer app backed by Alibaba. But as per Lee, he doesn’t fear Kakao Pay as it creates more B2B transactions, while Toss is more focused for a consumer driven experience.
According to a data by the Bank of Korea, the market for online person-to-person payments has grown 417% in 2017 over 2016. The P2P transactions are expected to have exponential growth and thus not affecting Toss in terms of competition much. But with the dentist at the helm, the startup wants to push its limits further and raise more than $100 million to explore acquisitions and expand beyond Korea to Southeast Asia.
The journey of ‘Toss’ in the three years’ period has been revolutionising not only for Lee but also for Korea’s financial market. The startup has build a successful model easing P2P money transfer issues and creating a fresh ecosystem.