“We want to be the Amazon of Korea. We are the largest online retailer here, and we’re one of the most well-funded tech companies in Korea.”
CEO of Coupang, Bom Kim in an interview with Forbes
To accelerate this growth Coupang has just announced another huge funding round, worth $300 million USD, from BlackRock Private Equity Partners. This follows fast on the heals of another $100 million USD round led around five months ago by Seqoia Capital.
Coupang started life back in 2011 as a daily deals site, similar to Groupon. However the company rapidly developed into a fully functioning ecommerce platform, helping to propel the Korean ecommerce market to the number three spot in Asia, in terms of revenue. It was reported by Forbes that Coupang's post money valuation is now around $2.5 billion USD, a 250% increase from their last round of funding only five months ago.
Bom Kim, CEO and founder of Coupang, is now in a strong position to dominate the local Korean market, while also eyeing up upportunities for growth beyond Korea's borders, most likely in China. Coupang currently has research and development offices in the USA, China and their Seoul headquarters.
Coupang is commetted to reducing the user experience gap between online and offline shopping. This includes innovative jumps forward in terms of the online experience, and also building capabilities in the delivery of goods, which can now be completed in Korea within hours of purchase. Kim believes that on account of Korea's top class mobile and internet ifrustructure it is the best market in which to test next generation services, such as e-commerce.
Investments of this size were practically unheard of in Korea until this year. But now, two other companies, Yello Mobile and 4:33 Creative Lab have also closed $100 milion USD rounds this year. There have also been other large investments in Korean startups this year, including a series D round of $36 million USD from Goldman Sachs, for food delivery company Baedal Minjeok .
You can read more about Coupang's recent funding here, on TechCrunch