WANDER AROUND Seoul’s domestic areas at dawn and you will usually experience a Coupang delivery van. Coupang’s income almost doubled from $6.3 bn in 2019 to $12 bn last year. It employs 50,000 individuals, twice as many as a year earlier, and manages a quarter of South Korean e-commerce, up from 18%in 2019, according to Digieco, a research company.
The 11- year-old company has yet to generate income– its cumulative $4.1 bn loss so far has been bankrolled by equity capital, especially SoftBank’s $100 bn Vision Fund, which owns a 37%stake, according to estimates by Bloomberg. Cashflow has improved, says Kim Myoung-joo of Mirae Property Daewoo, a financial investment company in Seoul. It needs more capital to grow.
Happily for Coupang, financiers’ hunger for start-ups seems pressing, as the boom in blank-cheque business developed to merge with them reveals (see short article). So on February 12 th it filed the documentation …