SoftBank-backed Coupang seeks to deliver US IPO at over $50b valuation

REUTERS/Issei Kato

South Korea’s Coupang Inc, which is backed by SoftBank Group Corp, is targeting a blockbuster stock market debut that would value the e-commerce giant at well over $50 billion and make it the largest U.S. initial public offering this year.

In a regulatory filing on Monday, Coupang said it would price its offering between $27 and $30 a share. At the upper end of that range, Coupang will raise as much as $3.6 billion.

The massive offering comes as U.S. capital markets gear up for another banner year for new listings, underscoring unprecedented investor appetite for technology companies, which have seen sales skyrocket during the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Korea’s e-commerce market was estimated to be worth $90.1 billion in 2020, an annual growth of 22.3%, and is expected to reach $141.8 billion in 2024 at a compound annual growth rate of 12%, data and analytics company GlobalData has said.

The IPO would also mark a major win for SoftBank’s $100-billion Vision Fund, furthering a turnaround that has seen the fund swing rapidly from huge losses to record profit.

Founded in 2010 by Harvard graduate Bom Suk Kim, Seoul-based 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.

The projected IPO valuation range of $46 billion to $51 billion would represent a significant jump from Coupang’s last private fundraise in 2018 when it was valued at roughly $9 billion, according to data provider PitchBook.

Apart from SoftBank, which has invested billions in Coupang, other major investors include BlackRock Inc, venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital and billionaire investor Bill Ackman.

Coupang plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CPNG”.

Goldman Sachs, Allen & Co, JP Morgan and Citigroup are the lead underwriters for the offering.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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

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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.