Grocery Startup Kurly Seeks $5.9B Valuation After IPO


South Korea’s online grocery startup Kurly is looking to go public in June of 2022, and estimates a value of $5.9 billion following its initial public offering.

As TechCrunch reported on Friday (Oct. 29), Kurly declined to say how much it plans to raise through its offering, but said it is likely to happen in June. The company could file an IPO application as early as December, with approval from South Korean financial authorities expected to come in February.

Earlier this year, Kurly raised 225.4 billion won (or just under $200 million) in Series F funding, despite a low valuation that forced the startup to hold off on plans for an IPO in the U.S. The company now says it will focus on expanding within its home country.

Read more: VCs Risk Creating eGrocery Bubble

The TechCrunch report notes that South Korea has relaxed its IPO requirements for startups based in-country to entice them to list on its domestic exchanges, after the eCommerce firm Coupang listed on the New York Stock exchange in March.

The new rules allow companies with an anticipated market capitalization of at least $855 million to become listed even if they don’t meet financial requirements.

Read more: South Korea’s Coupang Files $4.6B US IPO

Founded in 2015 by investment banker-turned-entrepreneur Sophie Kim, the Seoul-based Kurly offers next-day delivery throughout South Korea.

The company said it will use the IPO proceeds for research and development, upgrades to its payment system, staffing additions and an enhanced ordering process.

Kurly now has around nine million users and posted $853 million (or 1 trillion won) transactions last year. It aims to reach $1.7 billion in transactions by the close of 2021.

The pandemic has fueled a rise in South Korea’s online grocery delivery sector, with Kurly facing competition from companies like SSG, an eCommerce platform owned by the country’s Shensegae Group, and Oasis Market, both of which are scheduled to go public next year.