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SoftBank-backed Coupang reveals revenue surge ahead of US IPO

REUTERS: South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang, backed by Japan's SoftBank, on Friday (Feb 12) 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 US$50 billion in its US 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 US$9 billion in its last private fundraising round in 2018, according to data provider PitchBook.

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

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

Source: Reuters

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