When Seung-Gun Lee started Toss, he wasn’t planning to transform the entire South Korean financial industry—but that is exactly what he’s done. And now, with over 22 million users and explosive growth in the last few years, he’s set to expand even further.
A decade ago, for people in South Korea, sending money digitally was laboriously complex. Seung-Gun Lee set out to change that. And he did—Toss makes it easy. But he’s achieved a lot more than that, too.
Seung-Gun Lee was a dentist, a recent graduate of one of the top dental schools in South Korea, when he realized he didn’t want to just clean teeth for a living, he wanted to be part of something bigger.
Lee realized that the future of business was going to be mobile. So he set out to build an app. The app he eventually came up with was Toss. At launch, it enabled peer-to-peer payments for people in South Korea, like Venmo or PayPal. But since then, Toss has expanded exponentially.
Now, Toss is sometimes called a “superapp” because on one single platform, the company offers a whole host of financial services. They still enable peer-to-peer money transfers, as they always have, but now they also help people manage their credit scores and bank accounts, access loans and insurance plans, split bills, make QR payments, and dozens of other offerings.
In short, they provide an entire suite of services to help people manage their financial lives.
Despite being in the financial industry, the company Lee built is not just out to make money. They’re out to truly help people. Lee didn’t wake up one morning with a brilliant idea to transform the financial tech industry. His path to starting Toss was more focused on people. He simply thought, “What’s something people do all the time, that’s ridiculously inconvenient?” And in South Korea, where the banking industry is complex and carefully regulated, the answer was, “Sending people money.” So he set out to change it.
Now, Toss offers dozens of services to customers across South Korea. They employ over 1,500 team members and have over 22 million users. But the company attitude has stayed focused on making a difference in people’s lives.
For example, a visually-impaired customer contacted Toss customer service after an update, saying some features no longer worked for him. Toss invited the customer into their offices, and used the opportunity to get a better understanding of how to build a usable product for a visually-impaired audience. That conversation informed future iterations of the app in a very real way—expanding the size of tap-able areas, for example—and resulted in a product that’s more usable for more people.
In that story, and every day, Toss works to provide essential financial services that improve people’s lives. And with their rapid expansion, they’re poised to improve more lives with each passing day.
Learn more about Toss