Viva Republica, a monetary expertise service startup with its flagship cash switch cellular app Toss, introduced on Feb. 11 that it has joined fingers with Shinhan Monetary Group to determine an internet-only financial institution in Korea.
The consortium led by Viva Republica and Shinhan is the primary one to disclose its intent to leap into the banking business, following the native monetary regulator’s earlier bid to ask extra gamers within the scene. They are going to be joined by tech startups reminiscent of automotive rental app operator SoCar and cellular realtor app operator Dabang.
Viva Republica would be the largest shareholder of the brand new financial institution, whereas Shinhan will develop into the second-largest, in response to an organization spokesperson. The consortium plans to submit an software in March.
Different potential bidders reminiscent of Daou Know-how and monetary corporations SBI Holdings and Kyobo Life Insurance coverage have but to reveal their plans. The doubtless bidders reminiscent of web big Naver and e-commerce agency Interpark had not too long ago dropped out.
This comes after the Monetary Companies Fee introduced it plans to grant approval for 2 extra banks with out brick-and-mortar department networks, in an effort to ramp up competitors via deregulation. Korea is presently residence to 2 online-only banks — Okay financial institution and Kakao Financial institution — that each started operations in 2017.
The FSC in January raised the higher threshold for non-banking entities’ possession of internet-only banks to 34 % with voting rights. Previous to the deregulation, a non-banking entity in a consortium was not in a position to personal over four % of widespread shares, forcing the de facto chief to staff up with monetary firms.
Viva Republica is presently valued at some US$1.2 billion, changing into considered one of Korea’s six unicorn startups in December. It has recorded some 22 million app downloads and had 33 trillion received (US$29.30 billion) gathered home cash transfers in 4 years of operation. Shinhan Monetary Group is projected to have posted 3.15 trillion received web revenue final 12 months, the most important within the nation.
By Son Ji-hyoung ([email protected])