SoftBank-backed online retailer Coupang files for US IPO, reports revenue surge

Photo: Reuters

South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Inc, backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, on Friday filed to go public on the New York Stock Exchange, hoping to cash in on strong demand for high-growth tech stocks as it reported a near-doubling of annual revenue and narrowing losses.

Coupang is aiming for a valuation of around $50 billion in its U.S. initial public offering (IPO), according to a person familiar with the matter.

This would make it the largest IPO in New York by a company based outside the United States since Alibaba Group Holding in 2014, Dealogic data showed.

Founded in 2010 by Harvard graduate Bom Kim, Coupang made a splash in Korea with its ‘Rocket Delivery’ service, which promised delivery within 24 hours, shaking family-owned retail conglomerates such as Shinsegae and Lotte.

Coupang was valued at $9 billion in its last private fundraising round in 2018, according to data provider PitchBook.

In a regulatory filing, Coupang said total revenue jumped 91% in 2020 to $11.97 billion, while net losses narrowed to $474.9 million from $698.8 million.

The company, viewed as a rival in South Korea to e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc, received $1 billion in funding from SoftBank in 2015 and $2 billion from its Vision Fund in 2018.

Coupang‘s other investors include BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest asset manager, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and billionaire investor Bill Ackman.

The U.S. IPO market is at its strongest in more than two decades, and investors are flocking to buy shares in technology companies that have benefited during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coupang plans to list under the symbol “CPNG”. It has yet to provide a target asking price for its shares.

Goldman Sachs, Allen & Co, JP Morgan, BofA Securities and Citigroup are among the underwriters.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.