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SOUTH KOREA’S “AMAZON” SET TO RAISE $4.6 BILLION FROM IPO

March 22, 2021
March 22, 2021
via Coupang

South Korea’s popular e-commerce company Coupang raised nearly $4.6 billion from an initial public offering, making it one of the largest Asian listings in the US since Alibaba’s $25 billion debut in 2014.

WHO: Coupang was founded in 2010 by 42-year-old South Korean billionaire Bom Kim and is South Korea’s answer to Amazon. Powered by its proprietary technology infrastructure, Coupang has built revolutionary end-to-end fulfillment and logistics operations that deliver millions of items to customers’ doors within hours. Customers have embraced this convenience, making Korea’s e-commerce market the fifth largest in the world and on track to be the third largest by 2021, behind only China and the US. Based in Seoul, the company has since expanded its footprint to Silicon Valley, Shanghai, and Seattle. The company had around 14.8 million active customers and 50,000 employees by the end of 2020.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “We’re here today because we focus on a long-term strategy, [a] long-term vision. We’ve had teams and shareholders who are aligned with that vision … We’ll continue to stay steadfast to that DNA,” Bom Kim told Bloomberg.

DETAILS:

  • The Seoul-based company offered 130 million shares in a NYSE IPO and opened more than 80% higher than the $35 offering price. By the end of its first trading day the company was valued at over $80 billion.
  • In 2020, its revenues rose 72% to $11.9 billion YOY. However, its net loss of $474.6 million was an improvement from a $699 million loss in the previous year.
  • The company plans to use the ticker symbol CPNG for the New York Stock Exchange listing.
  • It will be the largest IPO by a foreign company since Alibaba’s $25 billion debut in 2014.
  • Coupang was the world’s sixth-largest e-commerce company in 2019.
  • Japan’s Masayoshi Son-led Softbank Group is one of Coupang’s biggest investors, investing at least $3 billion in Coupang since 2015, and its Vision Fund owns over 35% of the company. Its stake is now worth close to $30 billion based on the IPO price. Others investors include billionaire Bill Ackman, Sequoia Capital, and BlackRock.
  • According to an SEC filing, SoftBank bought 37% of Coupang’s Class A shares in the IPO with another 20 million shares purchased by the existing investors.
  • Coupang’s founder will hold a controlling stake of 76.7% in the company. While each Class A share is eligible for one vote, the Class B shares retained by Mr. Bom will be qualified as 29 votes.
  • JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Allen & Co. are the main underwriters of the IPO.
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