Coupang, the Amazon of South Korea, debuts on NYSE

by Jeremy

In years, the biggest IPO is rolling out Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, where Coupang, the South Korean equivalent of Amazon in the U.S., or Alibaba in China, will begin trading under the ticker “CPNG.”

Coupang has raised about $4.6 billion, out sizing last month’s $2 billion capital raise by the dating app Bumble.

Coupang priced 130 million shares at $35 each, valuing the company at about $60 billion, according to regulatory filings.

That hefty price tag reflects the recognition of how vastly the pandemic has accelerated the shift to online shopping.

Amazon’s fourth-quarter revenue shattered records, blowing past the $100 billion level for the first time to reach $125.56 billion. Target and Walmart have also aggressively pushed into online sales. Mark said this month that online sales soared 118% during the critical holiday quarter.

That has helped push Coupang’s asking price for a share higher, from the initial range of between $27 and $30 to $32 and $34, and now $35 each. The company also bumped up the number of shares it is offering because of solid demand by 10 million, for a total of 130 million shares.

Revenue growth at Coupang has been explosive, jumping from $900 million in the first quarter of 2018 to $3.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Coupang says it’s already the third-largest employer in Korea, adding almost 25,000 new jobs last year. Its goal is to create 50,000 new jobs in Korea by 2025.

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