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Toss acquires Tada, taps into mobility market

It's gearing up for another face-off against Kakao, this time in the mobility segment

By Oct 08, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Tada Lite
Tada Lite

South Korea-based mobile financial platform Toss, which has been expanding its operations across the financial sector, is set to foray into the mobility sector following its acquisition of Tada, a domestic ride-hailing service.

Viva Republica Inc., the operator of Toss, announced on Oct. 8 that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to acquire a 60% stake in VCNC, the operator of Tada, which is wholly held by the car-sharing platform SoCar Inc.

Toss is expected to wrap up the share purchase agreement within the month and roll out a renewed Tada service by the year-end. Viva Republica will be acquiring new shares issued by VCNC, but details on the amount have not yet been disclosed.

“The domestic taxi market’s annual revenue stands at around 12 trillion won ($10 billion), of which more than half stems from ride-hailing apps and also the reason why we expect Tada to generate synergy with Toss’ payment business,” said Lee Seung-gun, the founder and chief executive of Toss.

Moving forward, Toss, Tada and SoCar will maintain their own brands but jointly market their services. Toss has around 20 million users while SoCar and Tada have around 9 million users combined.

Unions between mobility and fintech players have become a global trend. Singapore-based ride-hailing giant Grab Holdings Inc. also became the No. 1 mobility business in Southeast Asia by adopting a similar strategy. Grab is looking to go public on the Nasdaq in the coming months.

In 2018, Tada made a strong debut in Korea as a van-hailing service, attracting up to around 1.7 million users. But the service shut down after facing intense opposition from local taxi drivers, prompting the government to pass a law that suspended the popular service. Since then, Tada has been working hard to make a comeback, such as releasing the franchise taxi service Tada Lite in 2020.

Meanwhile, Korea's leading platform operator Kakao Corp. has become a frontrunner in the domestic mobility market through its ride-hailing app, Kakao T. Viva Republica's acquisition of Tada is expected to trigger another face-off in the mobility segment between Toss and Kakao, which previously engaged in a heated rivalry in the fintech market. 

Write to Hyun-woo Lim and Min-ki Koo at

Danbee Lee edited this article.

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