Coupang brings in investments of $300 million

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Coupang brings in investments of $300 million

E-commerce leader Coupang raised $300 million on Thursday in a venture round led by BlackRock Private Equity Partners in Silicon Valley, securing resources for the technology-powered logistics and e-commerce platform that has been its focus in recent years.

The investments came seven months after the online retailer received $100 million from American venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.

Coupang said that the funding will go toward developing its e-commerce platform and delivery infrastructure. The company has five distribution centers across the country.

“We will invest in research and development for the IT sector, because it is extremely important for an e-commerce company to have an innovative IT infrastructure,” said Kim Beom-seok, CEO and founder of Coupang.

Wellington Capital Management, Greenoaks Capital Management and RosePark Advisors were among the investors.

The investors cited Coupang’s firm presence in Korea’s e-commerce sector as the reason for their support.

“Coupang is one of Korea’s largest and fastest growing e-commerce sites,” Jay Park, managing director of BlackRock, said in a statement. “Its differentiated same-day service model, deep mobile expertise, and precedent-setting online commerce offerings makes Coupang an e-commerce leader to watch - not only in Korea but globally.”

To improve its IT infrastructure, Coupang acquired Silicon Valley tech company CalmSea last year. CalmSea specializes in analyzing social media data and transaction data from e-commerce users to create targeted marketing.

Coupang recently invested heavily to launch its same-day deliveries.

Instead of using a third party to deliver, the company developed its own system for same-day orders.

“I believe that the same-day delivery system will significantly improve consumers’ shopping experience and quality of service,” the CEO said in statement.

Coupang started as a deal of the day site, competing with T-Mon and WeMakePrice.

Korea’s advanced IT infrastructure and the high smartphone use helped boost sales at those online retailers. But the growth also resulted in intense competition between the three top players and led to huge marketing costs.

Coupang stands apart by using its IT to provide an advanced shopping platform.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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