When they began trading, shares in the company soared, valuing the Harvard Business School dropout’s stake at over $8.6 billion (£6.1 bn). Coupang’s listing is the biggest by an Asian company since Alibaba in 2014.
While it’s still loss-making, revenue almost doubled last year after the pandemic boosting online shopping.
Coupang’s share price rose 41% in its trading debut, making it the biggest US initial public offering (IPO) since Uber in 2019. Coupang is often referred to as the Amazon of South Korea.
Japanese multinational SoftBank is the online retailer’s biggest backer in terms of finance. The company said it would grant its warehouse staff and 15,000 full-time delivery workers as much as $90 million worth of its shares.
‘’ We were fortunate to have demand from a lot of great investors and we didn’t have room for all of the great investors out there,” Mr. Kim said, who is both Coupang’s founder and chief executive.
Mr. Kim moved to America as a boy in middle school and obtained citizenship soon afterwards, but his origin is in Seoul. After dropping out from his Harvard MBA, he returned to South Korea and set up Coupang in 2010.
The company has largely broadened its delivery options. It put 70% of South Korea’s population in a seven-mile radius of its distribution centres.
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