S Korean online grocery startup Kurly gets IPO preliminary approval

South Korea’s Kurly Inc, which operates the online grocery service Market Kurly, has received preliminary approval for an initial public offering (IPO), the Korea Exchange said on Monday.

Kurly has seen annual revenue grow threefold to 1.6 trillion won ($1.19 billion) in 2021 from 426 billion in 2019 as demand for online grocery shopping jumped during the COVID-19 pandemic, although it reported an operating loss of 214 billion won in 2021.

Kurly, which launched its service in 2015, received pre-IPO funding of about 250 billion won from private equity firm Anchor Equity in December 2021 which valued the company at about 4 trillion won, a Kurly spokesman previously said.

Market uncertainty has rocked recent listing plans of South Korean firms with builder Hyundai Engineering and refiner Hyundai Oilbank both withdrawing immediate IPO plans, while car-sharing platform Socar Inc priced its IPO below the bottom end of its indicative range.

Socar closed at 26,300 won per share on Monday, its first day of trading, below its IPO price of 28,000 won.


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