South Korean e-commerce company Coupang saw a spike in its shares following its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. With backing from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, Coupang filed for an initial public offering in the USunder the name ‘CPNG,’ listing its stocks in the NYSE. Coupang’s IPO is the biggest Asian company listing on the US exchange since Alibaba’s group filing in 2014. Currently, the Seoul-based online retailer ranks as South Korea’s second-largest publicly held firm, right behind Samsung Electronics.
Initially, Coupang priced its shares at 39,702 won ($35), but the share jumped as high as 78,277 won ($69) before setting at 55,872 won ($49.25). In its IPO, the South Korean e-commerce operator raised almost 5.2 trillion won ($4.6 billion) and increased its market capitalization to 95.9 trillion won ($84.5 billion). Coupang’s IPO also gave its CEO, Kim Bom, an 9.8 trillion won ($8.6 billion) stake worth, based on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Moreover, Softbank’s Coupang shares increased to approximately 31.8 trillion won ($28 billion) after it invested 3.4 trillion won ($3 billion) during the previous years.
Behind Coupang’s Growth
“Coupang is potentially setting a new benchmark for global e-commerce companies across Asia and the US, and there are a number of key lessons startups can learn from what Coupang has achieved,” said capital firm Goodwater Capital, a previous Coupang investor. According to a former Coupang board member, the company’s market lead is due to its innovative delivery operations.
In 2010, Kim Bom founded the e-commerce operator, gaining popularity with its same-day and next-day delivery services through Rocket Delivery. Coupang established the one-day delivery service to address Koreans’ need for customized, efficient solutions amid the country’s hectic work culture.
In addition to its solutions, Coupang said that the main motivation behind its growth is to fulfill universal customer needs.
According to Kim, Coupang owes its outstanding achievements to its long-term strategy of creating real value for shareholders and customers. Kim also stated that Coupang is fortunate to have collaborated with investors and partners who share the same long-term strategy.
Coupang plans to continue focusing on the IPO, promising to grant its warehouse and delivery employees a 102 billion won ($90 million) share. Despite its accomplishments, Coupang is facing issues following reports of multiple delivery and logistics employee deaths due to alleged overwork. To address the issue, Coupang has organized reforms that would create better and safer working environments for its employees.
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