Heads Up: The Coupang IPO Date Is Just Weeks Out

Coupang has gained some serious traction in 2020. Now, the company is going public. When is the IPO date and what can investors expect?

Rachel Curry - Author

Feb. 15 2021, Published 9:29 a.m. ET

The Asian e-commerce arena has long been led by companies like Alibaba and Wish. However, South-Korean-based Coupang is coming out of the woodwork for its own market debut in 2021.

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Coupang plans to list on a U.S. exchange as Alibaba did in 2014. At a time when Alibaba is struggling to surmise the Chinese government's next moves regarding their Hong Kong listing, this feels like a strategically placed debut.

Who owns Coupang?

Coupang is run by founder and CEO Kim Bom-seok (also referred to by his American name Bom Suk Kim). The CEO will be the only recipient of Class B common stock, which will have higher voting rights. 

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Coupang likely chose a U.S. listing (in this case, the NYSE) because of Kim's American-Korean heritage as well as the fact that dual-class shares are prohibited in South Korea. Higher voting rights are a way for companies to maintain control even after they sell public stock. 

Coupang works just like Amazon

Like Amazon, Coupang sells products online across a wide spectrum of categories. Users can purchase from Coupang on their desktop or mobile device. 

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Is Coupang's publicly-traded paperwork public?

A lot has changed with the market over the course of the 21st century. One of those changes is a modern company's tendency to file its registration statement (form S-1) confidentially with the SEC. That's what Coupang did, but it publicized the paperwork on Feb. 12 to help give investors some time to do their due diligence before the big day.

Coupang's enterprise and IPO valuation

Reportedly, Coupong's growth has been strong and consistent, which has guided the company toward an enterprise valuation of $9 billion and a projected IPO valuation of more than $50 billion. Backed by SoftBank, the company is pushing the limits on IPO numbers. Kim is already a billionaire, and the IPO will solidify that. 

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The Coupang IPO price aligns with recent revenue metrics

According to the S-1, Coupang's revenue hit $12 billion in 2020, which is an approximately 74 percent increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, the company's losses fell by 32 percent during the same period. 

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When is Coupang making the leap to the public market?

Coupang plans to list its IPO stock in March. Currently, the U.S. stock market is breaking records for the total valuation of stock sold. According to The Wall Street Journal, $68 billion had been sold YTD on Feb. 12 with about 65 percent of that coming from SPACs. Coupang is taking the traditional IPO route with this one. 

How to buy Coupang stock IPO

The high valuation of the Coupang IPO could make the stock volatile in the first year (or two). If your risk tolerance aligns with this kind of initial investment, head to the NYSE to make your investment. Keep your eyes peeled for the ticker symbol "CPNG." 

Brokerages like Schwab, TD Ameritrade, E-Trade, Robinhood, and many more will eventually have the stock. However, IPO-rate stock is reserved for preferred investors. Check your platform's terms on IPO availability to see if you qualify. 


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