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Coupang Nabs $100 Million at Valuation Topping $1 Billion

Sequoia Chairman Michael Moritz
Sequoia Chairman Michael Moritz said in the statement that Korea is “one of the most attractive e-commerce markets in the world.” Photographer: Noah Berger/Bloomberg

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. 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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