South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang jumps 84% in public trading debut after raising $4.6 billion in IPO

South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang jumps 84% in public trading debut after raising $4.6 billion in IPO
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  • Shares of Coupang jumped as much as 84% in the e-commerce giant's public trading debut.
  • Coupang and existing shareholders raised $4.6 billion from an upsized IPO on Wednesday.
  • The South Korean e-commerce giant posted $11.97 billion in revenue in 2020.

Coupang's stock jumped as much as 84% on Thursday in the South Korean e-commerce giant's public trading debut. Shares began trading at an intraday high of $63.98 before paring gains.

In its IPO on Wednesday, Coupang priced 130 million shares at $35 each, above the marketed range of $32-$34. The company, along with a group of existing shareholders that includes SoftBank, raised $4.6 billion in the enlarged offering.

"This is one of the largest, if not this is certainly the largest capital raised by a tech company out of Korea," Coupang CEO Bom Kim told Insider in an interview shortly before shares began trading. "And what it means is now we have the ability to continue to make really, really big investments."

Kim also said that the company has no plans to enter the US market or expand outside of Korea.

Coupang's IPO is the largest on a US exchange since Uber raised $8.1 billion in 2019.


Coupang and its existing shareholders planned to sell 120 million shares at a lower price range of $27-$30 ebut had to increase the volume and price of the offering, signaling strong demand from investors.

SoftBank first invested $1 billion in Coupang back in 2015 when the firm was just a startup valued at about $5 billion. Then, in November 2018, SoftBank's Vision Fund invested another $2 billion in the company in a deal that valued Coupang at $9 billion.

The purchases made SoftBank Group Coupang's largest shareholder. The Japanese conglomerate now owns 35% of the firm.

Coupang was founded in 2010 by Harvard dropout Bom Kim and has quickly become South Korea's dominant e-commerce player, sometimes referred to as the "Amazon of South Korea."

Coupang turned in revenues of $11.97 billion in 2020, a 90.7% increase from 2019. Still, net losses continue to be an issue. Coupang lost $474.9 million in 2020 according to its S-1 prospectus filing.


Some of the losses are due to Coupang's aggressive expansion in delivery and logistics operations. The company put 70% of South Korea's population within a seven-mile radius of its distribution centers after a costly buildout.

In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Coupang's CEO Bom Kim said investors have been "aligned and unwavering" in supporting his company's "long-term strategy to build real value for customers."

Coupang traded up 44%, at $51.00, per share as of 1:14 p.m. ET on