South Korea’s shopping-deals site Coupang raised $100 million in a round that values it at more than $1 billion, signaling how investors are betting on international e-commerce growth.
Sequoia Capital Global Equities and Sequoia Heritage funds led the round, with participation from existing investors, the Seoul-based company said in a statement. The three-year-old Coupang, which goes by the corporate name Forward Ventures Co., exceeded $1 billion in gross merchandise volume last year with its deals on events and consumer goods.
Korea has become a growth market for many daily-deal sites, as the hype in the U.S. market over such offers has cooled. Groupon Inc. (GRPN:US) expanded into the country last year by purchasing Korea’s Ticket Monster Inc. from rival LivingSocial Inc. for $260 million in cash and stock. Chicago-based Groupon, which went public in 2011 amid a wave of investor enthusiasm over daily-deals sites, is trading 70 percent below its initial public offering price and is transitioning more into traditional e-commerce.
“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,” Chief Executive Officer Bom Kim said in the statement. “Most purchases are now made via mobile and can be delivered same-day or next-day. We aim to continue to create captivating experiences.”
Sequoia Chairman Michael Moritz said in the statement that Korea is “one of the most attractive e-commerce markets in the world.”
Coupang’s other investors include Greenoaks Capital Management, Rose Park Advisors, Maverick Capital, LaunchTime, Altos Ventures, Bill Ackman and Clay Christensen.
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