BlackRock, Bill Ackman and RIT Capital Partners are among the Korean e-commerce disruptor’s backers
Thursday 18 Feb 2021 Author: James Crux

SoftBank-backed Coupang has filed to go public in the US, with reports suggesting the South Korean e-commerce giant is aiming for a valuation of around $50 billion as it aims to tap into voracious investor appetite for high-growth tech stocks.

This would make Coupang the biggest IPO in New York by a company based outside of the US since Jack Ma’s Alibaba came to market in 2014.

Founded in 2010 by Bom Kim, Coupang is feared and admired by competitors in equal measure and is regarded as a rival to Amazon in South Korea, where its ‘Rocket Delivery’ service, which promises delivery within 24 hours, has shaken up the market.

Also backed by Sequoia Capital, asset management behemoth BlackRock and billionaire investor Bill Ackman, Coupang’s sales for 2020 nearly doubled to nigh-on $12 billion with losses narrowing to $475 million.

Exposure to the Coupang story is possible through investment trust RIT Capital Partners (RCP), which invested in the company in April 2018. Coupang represented 2.4% of RIT’s net assets as of the end of June 2020 and a successful IPO could see the value of its stake increase.

RIT has an objective of long-term capital growth while preserving shareholders’ money through market cycles and invests in a diversified, international portfolio across a range of asset classes, both quoted and unquoted.

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