South Korea-based startup Toss Lab has raised a US$1.7 million Series A funding led by Hong Kong-based VC Ascent Capital Advisors, and TicketMonster CEO Shin Hyun Sung.

It will use the newly-raised capital to increase new hires and implement new features on its messaging platform JANDI.

Last year, Toss Lab completed a Pre-Series A investment of US$2.5 million from Qualcomm through its venture investment group Qualcomm Ventures, and HnAP. And In 2014, it raised about US$2 million from Softbank Ventures and Cherubic Ventures.

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“Our overarching strategy has remained consistent since founding – to become the next go-to enterprise productivity software provider for traditionally underserved audiences in Asia using our messaging platform JANDI as the gateway,” said Daniel Chan, CEO of Toss Lab.

JANDI combines group messaging, file sharing, and project management functionalities on one platform.

In a previous conversation with e27, Chan said it differs from popular enterprise messaging app Slack by targeting “e-commerce, creative agencies (or marketing), and design firms that require collaboration works with third parties who are not familiar with IT tools like such as Slack.”

Additionally, it localises its UX and UI, and sets up local offices and teams, to cater to different audiences.

In Asia, JANDI is in direct competition with similar Slack-like platforms such as Japan’s ChatWork. Japanese messaging giant Line has also released a similar product called Line Works.

Other platforms such as Facebook Workplace may also threaten’s JANDI’s market share.

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Chan said that while he had expected SMEs to use the JANDI platform, he was at first apprehensive of its adoption among large enterprises and conglomerates; many of which use “legacy groupware and traditionally were averse to the cloud”.

But Chan said his misgivings were allayed when he received a number of requests from corporations inquiring about adopting JANDI.

“It’s a great sign that even more conservative audiences in the mainstream are starting to recognise the importance of employee engagement and workplace productivity,” said Chan.

With this new audience, Toss Lab plans to release a private cloud version of JANDI that caters to large enterprise clients.

Today, JANDI’s user base spans across South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

It serves over 80,000 teams across diverse industries ranging from tech and media (such as Ticketmonster, YelloMobile, and Mangoplate) to offline retail (such as The Booth, and Vatos Tacos).

Image Credit: Toss Lab