South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Corp. is buying the software of Hooq Digital Ltd., the Southeast Asian video streaming service owned by Singtel, Sony and Warner Bros that’s filed for liquidation, according to people familiar with the deal.
Coupang has already struck a deal to acquire the assets, the people said, asking not to be named because the information hasn’t been announced.
The deal ushers SoftBank-backed Coupang into a competitive over-the-top video streaming arena and pits it against the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. It also marks growing consolidation in the segment, after Tencent Holdings Ltd. recently agreed to buy the assets of Malaysian streaming platform iflix.
A Coupang representative declined to comment.
Hooq, a joint venture between Singapore Telecommunications Ltd., Sony Pictures Television Inc. and Warner Bros Entertainment Inc., filed for liquidation in March and discontinued service at the end of April. Set up in 2015, it offered movies and drama series across Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and India.
Coupang, widely regarded as South Korea’s Amazon, has been aggressively expanding into new businesses such as food delivery and digital payments, mirroring the U.S. giant by broadening its services. Buoyed by the growth in subscribers to its delivery service, sales at the startup rose to a record 7.15 trillion won ($5.9 billion) in 2019. Its investors include SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund, BlackRock Inc. and Sequoia Capital.
The Seoul-based company, founded in 2010 by Chief Executive Officer Bom Kim, was said to be valued at $9 billion in late 2018 and has been eyeing a public listing as early as next year, Bloomberg News reported in January.