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‘South Korea’s Amazon’ Coupang surges in first day of trading in US

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Coupang Inc (NYSE:CPNG), an e-commerce giant described by some as the Amazon of South Korea, made a blockbuster debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) overnight in the largest initial public offering (IPO) for the US market so far in 2021.

At the closing bell on Thursday, the company’s shares were trading at US$49.25, a 40.7% increase on its IPO price of US$35. The company, which is backed by Japanese conglomerate Softbank, raised around US$4.6bn through the IPO while the share price surge took its market cap to just shy of US$85bn.

READ: Bumble rockets on market debut just before Valentine’s Day

The Seoul-based firm, which is known for its “rocket delivery” service that provides free shipping to customers within hours, is the largest IPO for an international firm on the US market since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) in 2014.

Like other firms in the industry, the company has also seen its business boom during the pandemic, having added around 25,000 employees last year to address the upswing in demand.

Despite the popularity stemming from the speed of its delivery service, Coupang has come under scrutiny over the working conditions of its delivery drivers after a number of employee deaths.

Coupang’s debut marks the latest milestone in a flurry of major IPOs so far this year, with major brands including dating app Bumble Inc (NASDAQ:BMBL), takeaway delivery app DoorDash Inc (NYSE:DASH) and accommodation booking firm Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ:ABNB) having all floated in the first quarter of 2021.

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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