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More Korean companies may follow Coupang to NYSE

By
Kang Hye-young & Kim Tae-gyu, UPI News Korea
American flags hang outside the entrance to the New York Stock Exchange. Some Korean companies are considering initial pubic offerings after the success of Coupang. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
American flags hang outside the entrance to the New York Stock Exchange. Some Korean companies are considering initial pubic offerings after the success of Coupang. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, April 23 (UPI) -- The successful initial public offering of online retailer Coupang in the United States has spurred more South Korean companies to try to follow.

Market Kurly, one of the country's first grocery-delivering platforms, is expected to debut on the New York Stock Exchange later this year.

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The company's value was estimated at less than $1 billion in March, but has since reached $4 billion on strong 2020 performance.

Market Kurly has reportedly tapped Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan to package its IPO scheme.

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The Seoul-based entity, which specializes in early morning delivery of fresh food, more than doubled its 2020 sales to $851 million from a year before. But it has yet to turn a profit as its operating loss stood at $104 million last year.

"After Coupang's U.S. IPO, South Korea's e-commerce market is being re-evaluated," Meritz Securities analyst Kim Dong-jin said. "Thanks to the technological edge and high Internet usage rate, the country's online retail market has an advanced business model."

South Korea's largest travel app Yanolja is considering a flotation either in the United States or Korea.

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The company designated Mirae Asset Securities as its lead manager of IPO procedures. Its estimated value is around $9 billion.

Yanolja, which debuted in 2005 as a love hotel-booking service, has grown into one of the world's largest property management software providers, along with Oracle.

"All these started after Coupang's success in the U.S. Market Kurly will be sure to go public in New York, and I think Yanolja would eventually opt for the U.S. capital market," said Park Ju-gun, CEO of business tracker Leader's Index.

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"Going forward, a mounting number of South Korean startups would tap into the U.S. market because many believe that the U.S. market produces higher valuations," he said.

On Coupang's successful debut in the U.S. market in March, its valuation briefly topped $100 billion.

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