MORE FROM KrASIA

Korean e-commerce unicorn Coupang to go public in 2021, sources say

In November 2018, the company raised USD 2 billion in funding from SoftBank’s Vision Fund reaching a USD 9 billion valuation.

South Korea-based e-commerce giant Coupang is gunning for an initial public offering as soon as next year, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Founded in 2010, the SoftBank-backed company has already begun work on tax structuring, among other changes, in preparation to go public, said one of the people. A representative from Coupang declined to comment on the matter, according to the report.

The development follows Coupang’s appointment of Alberto Fornaro as its chief financial officer last month, succeeding Richard Song. The company also named former Walmart exec Jay Jorgensen as general counsel and chief compliance officer.

At the end of last year, the company said that it would be investing about USD 276 million to build a tech-enabled mega fulfillment center in the Daegu National Industrial Complex, which would serve as a major base in its plan to establish a nationwide logistics system for its Rocket Delivery network.

In November 2018, the company confirmed it raised USD 2 billion in funding from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, boosting its valuation from USD 5 billion to USD 9 billion. SoftBank invested USD 1 billion in the e-commerce firm back in 2015.

According to a recent Satista report, revenue in Korea’s e-commerce market is expected to reach about USD 78 billion in 2020 and balloon to USD 107 billion by 2024.

As of the end of 2019, Coupang achieved more than USD 10 billion in gross merchandise value, with sales growing by 60% year on year, a person familiar with the company told Bloomberg.

This article first appeared on Tech in Asia.