Softbank invests $1B in SKorean e-commerce firm Coupang

June 3, 2015 byYoukyung Lee

Coupang, a South Korean online shopping site, has secured a $1 billion investment from Japanese Internet company Softbank Corp.

Coupang said Wednesday that Softbank founder Masayoshi Son decided to back Coupang because of the South Korean company's delivery system and its market dominance in online shopping via smartphones.

It is the latest foreign bet on Coupang. Overseas investors are seeking ways to tap South Korea's fast growth in smartphone users, new mobile services and the population's willingness to spend money via mobile and Web services.

Coupang received a $100 million investment from Sequoia Capital in May last year and $300 million from BlackRock Private Equity Partners in November.

Owned by Forward Ventures Co., Coupang started in 2010 as a website for getting daily discount deals like Groupon. In the last five years, it has evolved into South Korea's Amazon.

The company now sells everything from baby products and flight tickets to cosmetics. It operates its own warehouses and has a staff of deliverymen.

Coupang said in a statement that Softbank's investment will accelerate the company's plans to achieve one-day delivery within South Korea. It is doubling the number of warehouses to 16 and plans to hire 800 more deliverymen.

It will also hire more developers to work at its research and development centers in Silicon Valley and other centers who will boost the company's server and mobile technology.

Half of South Korea's population has downloaded the Coupang app and about two third of transactions with Coupang are done on the app.

Explore further: Japan's Softbank invests $250 million in GrabTaxi

Related Stories

Yahoo to exit South Korea by end of year

October 19, 2012

(AP)—Yahoo Inc. said it will close its South Korean web portal and an Internet advertising business, cutting its losses in a market where it has struggled for over a decade.

Recommended for you

The solid Earth breathes

March 26, 2019

The solid Earth breathes as volcanoes "exhale" gases like carbon dioxide (CO2)—which are essential in regulating global climate—while carbon ultimately from CO2 returns into the deep Earth when oceanic tectonic plates ...

What happened before the Big Bang?

March 26, 2019

A team of scientists has proposed a powerful new test for inflation, the theory that the universe dramatically expanded in size in a fleeting fraction of a second right after the Big Bang. Their goal is to give insight into ...

Cellular microRNA detection with miRacles

March 26, 2019

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding regulatory RNAs that can repress gene expression post-transcriptionally and are therefore increasingly used as biomarkers of disease. Detecting miRNAs can be arduous and expensive as ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.