Coupang, a leader in next generation e-commerce based in Seoul Korea, has raised $100 million in financing led by Sequoia Capital, with participation by existing investors Greenoaks Capital Management, Rose Park's Disruptive Innovation Fund and LaunchTime.
This investment comes at a time when rumours about a possible IPO at some point in 2015 abound in the local Korean startup ecosystem, and follows in the same week that Korea's other 'mega-startup,' Kakao Corp. announced its merger with Korea's second largest internet portal, Daum.
It is likely that these two huge announcements from Korea will further highlight the nation as an emerging hub in Asia for startups and entrepreneurship. While Samsung is a well known global brand Korean startups have so far failed to penetrate the global consciousness, but those times are changing with an increased level of startup activity and a much larger volume of venture capital funding being made available for Korean startups from around the world.
"With the support of Sequoia and this round, we can go even further in our quest to differentiate the end-to-end experience for our customers," said Bom Kim, Founder, CEO and Chairman, Coupang. "Most purchases are now made via mobile and can be delivered same-day or next-day. We aim to continue to create captivating experiences."
Coupang sells a curated selection of diverse goods ranging from fashion to produce. In 2013, its third full year in operation, Coupang exceeded $1 billion USD in annual gross merchandise volume. Coupang has achieved this growth by consistently innovating new services that benefit the customer experience, such as a compelling mobile shopping platform, same-day delivery and personalized recommendations.
"It's rare to find an entrepreneur like Bom Kim, who has blended the freshest innovations in e-commerce with the exceptionally fertile needs of the South Korean market. This is visible in every order placed by Coupang's extraordinarily loyal customers and the meticulous attention to detail evident in every part of the company - from its smart phone app to its delivery team," said Michael Moritz, Chairman, Sequoia Capital. Korea is currently the third largest e-commerce market in Asia and has one of the most developed and mature e-commerce markets in the world. "Coupang is the leading online retailer in South Korea - one of the most attractive e-commerce markets in the world," added Moritz.
"Organically, we've grown faster than any e-commerce company we know of, and with these resources, we can set our sights even higher," said Richard Song, CFO, Coupang. "This financing is highly strategic as we continue to go after a rapidly growing $45 billion market. Sequoia has had extensive experience with innovative companies around the world, and is the best partner for us during this important stage of Coupang's lifecycle."
About Coupang: Founded in 2010 by Bom Kim, a Harvard Business School drop-out, Coupang began life as a daily deals site, but has developed into an e-commerce company that offers a curated selection of diverse merchandise including baby goods, fashion, beauty products, consumables, home goods and decor, books and toys, sporting goods, electronics, and tickets for travel and cultural events.
Coupang is based in Seoul and is backed by investors including Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Sequoia Heritage, Greenoaks Capital Management, Rose Park Advisors, Maverick Capital, LaunchTime, Altos Ventures, Bill Ackman, Clay Christensen and others.