Coupang debut: How South Korea's e-commerce giant traded on IPO day

·Markets Reporter
·2 min read

Coupang (CPNG) shares closed at $49.52 each on their first day of trading, well below their opening trade but still above their IPO price, in the largest US initial public offering so far this year.

Dubbed the Amazon (AMZN) of South Korea, shares of the e-commerce giant opened at $63.50 after pricing its IPO at $35 a share, raising $4.6 billion. About 10 minutes after the opening trade, the stock was trading at around $59 a share.

The IPO surpassed that of dating app Bumble (BMBL), which debuted in February.

Coupang was founded by Bom Suk Kim, a graduate of Harvard who went on to Harvard Business School before dropping out and returning to South Korea to start the delivery platform in 2010.

The company boasts a "Rocket Delivery" service which includes same-day and next-day delivery, box-less or zero packaging for some items, and "frictionless returns," according to the company's S-1 filing.

A delivery man for Coupang Jung Im-hong wearing a mask to prevent contracting the coronavirus, checks an address as he works in Incheon, South Korea, March 3, 2020. Picture taken on March 3, 2020.  REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A delivery man for Coupang Jung Im-hong wearing a mask to prevent contracting the coronavirus, checks an address as he works in Incheon, South Korea, March 3, 2020. Picture taken on March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The company is backed by SoftBank’s Vision Fund. Comparisons have been made not only with U.S.-based Amazon, but also China's AliBaba (BABA), albeit operating with a smaller market.

However Coupang says it's "the largest product e-commerce player in Korea." Total net revenues were $12.0 billion in 2020, up 90.8% (93.1% on a constant currency basis) over 2019.

Coupang's active customer base grew to approximately 14.8 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2020, from approximately 11.8 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2019, an increase of 25.9%.

Gross profit was $2.0 billion in 2020, up 92.3% over 2019.

The company is expected to use the money raised in the IPO to continue expanding in its most recent offerings, such as food delivery and an online streaming service.

IPOs have seen big pops on the first day of trading this year. Bumble surged 77% during its debut, while Affirm and RLX Technology both spiked about 86% on their debut in January.

Ines covers the U.S. stock market. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

GameStop gains another 20%, extends five day rally

The electric vehicle Gold Rush: A look at EV startups going public

Tanger Factory Outlet shares eyed by WallStreetBets jump, then retreat

Rocket surges 71% as shorts are 'crashing and burning'

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting