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20 Things You Didn't Know About Coupang


Coupang is a South Korean startup. The company is an e-commerce business that has achieved remarkable success in recent years. The company has received a great deal of press since its founding in 2010, and while there have been a few mysteries associated with Coupang, most of the attention has been positive. It's going over and above all expectations with its placement in the e-commerce industry at a time when more shoppers are opting to use the internet instead of brick-and-mortar retailers. If you haven't yet heard about it, here are 20 things you didn't know about Coupang, to bring you up to speed.

1. Coupang has been in business for a decade

According to LinkedIn, Coupang was founded in 2010. The business is entering into its 11th year in business in 2021. The headquarters is located in Seoul, South Korea. It is classified in the internet and e-commerce industry providing retail sales, along with technology, IT, customer service, and operations.

2. Coupang is a global company

Coupang has expanded its operations from South Korea to other parts of the world. Although the sales are limited to the country of South Korea, Coupang has extended an invitation for sellers from all over the world to use the site. Coupang offers a marketplace for global sellers to encourage international businesses to sell their products and services on Coupang. The goal of the company is to expand the offerings of items to bring the rest of the world to the South Korean people.

3. Coupang is a major employer in South Korea

In addition to being one of the largest e-commerce retailers in the country, Coupang is good for the local economy. The company is large, employing more than 10,000 employees. It offers full-time work in addition to part-time jobs to those who live in or around its headquarters in Seoul.

4. Coupang operates its pay system

In addition to being one of the fastest-growing online retailers in South Korea, Coupang has also developed a subsidiary company called Coupang Pay. This organization allows customers who shop on the site to engage in instant payments through the app. It makes the transactions smooth and seamless without the need to involve third-party payment systems. This is one of the ways that Coupang shows its customer-centric side. It goes over and above to ensure that the navigation and purchasing processes flow smoothly.

5. Coupang is customer-centric

Part of the success of Coupang is that the company remains dedicated to protecting its customers. It is a customer-centric company that focuses on consumer desires and needs through an end-to end-e-commerce and logistics network. It's using advanced technology to assess trends in customer preferences to better provide services that are fast and seamless for user convenience. The staff is trained to foster an environment that is focused on customer satisfaction throughout all aspects of service delivery.

6. Coupang products are delivered quickly and efficiently

Coupang is a unique e-commerce company that provides for the delivery of customer orders 365 days out of the year. They don't take time off from the business of customer satisfaction. Coupang prides itself on its rapid delivery system. They ensure that items such a fresh groceries are delivered to customers within hours of the order being placed. They provide millions of items for sale and maintain record delivery speeds when compared to most other online retailers. It's no small wonder that Coupang is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce retailers in the world today.

7. Coupang just recently went public

According to CNBC, Coupang recently filed its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. It is officially listed under the ticker symbol CPNG. This is exciting news for investors who are looking to expand their investment portfolios with an up-and-coming giant in the e-commerce retail industry. The statistics for Coupang show that it's a good investment option and there are no signs that the company will do anything but continue to grow and prosper in the near future.

8. Coupang performed well on opening day

At Coupang's IPO, the pricing was set at $35 per share. The company offered a total of 130 million common shares for sale. The response was overwhelming with a total of $4.55 billion raised at its initial public offering. This will provide Coupang with the additional revenue to continue its expansion beyond South Korea into other parts of the world if this strategy fits into its strategic planning. While some other companies are disappointed by their initial public offering results, Coupang did much better than it expected.

9. Coupang is beyond unicorn

When a company reaches a valuation of at least $1 billion it is listed as a part of the exclusive unicorn group of companies. With the latest news about its successful initial public offering, it's safe to say that Coupang has far exceeded this goal. The brilliant response at the end of its first day of trading has raised the valuation of Coupang to an astronomical $60 billion. This makes it 60 times a unicorn and we're wondering if there is going to be a new classification set for companies that perform at this exceptional level. Coupang is currently listed as one of the biggest listings in the United States stock market by deal size. It's among the top 25 companies on that list.

10. Coupang exceeded its previous expectations

We also discovered that Coupang expected to enter the stock market at a lower price per share than it received. The expected range was somewhere between $32 to $34 per share. When it reached $35 this was good news. When you're dealing with 130 million shares a few dollars one way or the other makes a tremendous difference. Analysts estimated that the reason for the price increase is because there is only one e-commerce company in the country of South Korea, and it's Coupang.

11. The coronavirus has benefited Coupang

Analysts further ventured that part of the reason for the rise in Coupang's sales and its current rate of growth is a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. More people are choosing to make purchases online versus going out into the marketplaces. Fear of contracting the potentially deadly virus has made many fearful to go out. While it's not good for the local economy, it certainly has served to boost the use of the only e-commerce business in the country. The market size increased from 181 percent dramatically to 24.6 percent within 12 months. This was when the virus was at its height and people were living under strict stay-at-home orders from the local governments.

12. Analysts speculate a big surge

Experts in forecasting market growth and activity believe that we're just seeing the first massive increase in Coupang's traffic. Expert financial analysts believe that there is going to e yet more growth within South Korea and that the current market share of 24 percent is going to increase for Coupang. It wouldn't surprise any of them to see the company continue to increase that market share figure over the next two to three years to up to thirty percent or higher. It's the same trajectory that stimulated the increase of the IPO over previous estimates. It's all a guessing game, but the characteristics are all in place for another positive growth to happen for Coupang.

13. Coupang has a fleet of delivery drivers

So far, Coupang has done an exceptional job of providing fast deliveries for its customers. We learned that the major headquarters in Seoul is the main hub, but there are the fulfillment and logistic centers in more than 30 cities throughout the region. There are more than 100 of them. Next-day delivery is guaranteed for every order that is placed before midnight. A fleet of 15,000 drivers work to make sure that all the deliveries are made quickly. In addition to providing e-commerce goods, the firm also delivers food and groceries.

14. Coupang has had its share of losses

Although Coupang sounds like one of the richest companies in the world, the overhead and debt costs take down the bottom line of revenues. Coupang has operated at a loss. From 2019 to 2020, Coupang sustained a loss of $770.2 million. When sales jumped sharply toward the end of the year, the net loss was taken down substantially to $567.6 million. Big losses in any quarter are a part of the operation of larger companies.

15. Coupang has competition

Although Coupang is the only e-commerce company in South Korea it does have some stiff competition from other similar enterprises. The chief competitors in the industry are Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay. Each of these companies takes up a market share based on their quarterly sales. The current market value for South Korea is estimated at $90.1 billion for 2020. Analysts point out that the annual growth rate is 22.3 percent and it is further estimated that the number will grow to$141.8 billion by the year 2024. The pie is big and it's growing larger, but who will cut the biggest slice?

16. Coupang has a presence in China and the United States

Coupang has expanded its operations to include a few offices scattered throughout various parts of the world. Aside from its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, it has established four offices in the United States. These are found in Delaware, Seattle, Mountain View, and Los Angeles. There are two other offices with one in Shanghai and the other in Beijing.

17. The founder of Coupang attended Harvard

Born Kim is the founder of Coupang. He established the e-commerce business in 2010. Before launching the giant retailer, he attended the Harvard Business School. He was working on his MBA degree. He had previously earned his four-year degree in business. For undisclosed reasons, he dropped out of Harvard after six months in the program.

18. Coupang received solid venture capital investments

Coupang was a unicorn before it ever went public. Born Kim seemed to have no trouble attracting investors to his e-commerce venture. In November of 2018, SoftBank, a large and powerful financial firm backed Coupang by leading a round of venture capital investing that generated $2 billion by SoftBank alone. Other investors joined in the support including Fidelity and BlackRock. Coupang had secured the confidence in these big players in the financial industry.

19. Coupang acquired HOOQ

Coupang has been on the move with a forward trajectory practically since its inception. As a part of its expansion of goods and services, it purchased a company called HOOQ. This was a streaming service from Singapore. When Coupang completed the acquisition, it developed its streaming service that it calls Coupang Play. This added yet one more interesting element to the products and services it offers its customers.

20. Coupang is a company to keep your eye on

Investors are keeping their eye on Coupang stock to monitor its progress. The enterprise continues to forge ahead in its growth and taking up a larger slice of the market share pie. Projections suggest that the growth will continue at least for the next few years. Although any investment represents a risk, the price of shares is still at an affordable price. Coupang is leading the way in e-commerce retail sales in South Korea and it has become a publicly traded business listed on the New York Stock Exchange as of March of 2021. It's brand new to the market and only time will tell how well it will perform. This is a company that bears watching for a quarter or two to assess its overall performance. There have been a few concerns over the recent deaths of Coupang delivery drivers. According to Insider, two couriers have passed away with the cause of death being listed as likely overwork. This does raise some questions about the company, but investigations are still ongoing and Coupang continues to thrive.

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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