Coupang, the South Korean eCommerce company, is getting a $2 billion investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which will provide it with the money to speed up development of delivery and shopping services.
According to a report in Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, the eCommerce company has a post-money valuation of $9 billion. SoftBank invested $1 billion in Coupang back in 2015, valuing the company at $5 billion the time.
"Masa is a visionary leader. He’s always challenged us to think big," Bom Kim, founder and chief executive officer, told Bloomberg. "This round came from understanding that what we’ve built is now the foundation for immense impact on customers."
Coupang was founded in 2010 and is the largest eCommerce player in Korea, hawking more than 120 million items. Bloomberg noted the company claims that half the population of Korea has downloaded its app.
Bloomberg noted that SoftBank had been in talks with the company about raising money ahead of a potential initial public offering (IPO) next year. The investment was supposed to be small, but SoftBank noticed that Coupang’s growth was accelerating and decided a better move was to give it a larger amount of cash so it could grow without having to tap the public markets. "It will be a public company in the not too distant future, but just not 2019,” said Lydia Jett, an investor at Vision Fund who sits on Coupang’s board. “It’s going to give them runway to make investments in new categories.”
Bloomberg noted that revenue at Coupang has more than doubled during the past two years, and is forecast to reach close to $5 billion in sales by the end of this year. Other investors in the eCommerce company include BlackRock, Sequoia Capital, and Wellington.