Alibaba mulls investing W1tr in Coupang
[THE INVESTOR] Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is considering investing 1 trillion won (US$890.47 million) in Korea's Coupang, the Seoul Economic Daily reported on Aug. 2.
According to the report, Alibaba will fund Coupang, a Seoul-based e-commerce company established by Harvard dropout Kim Bom in 2010, through its subsidiary firm Alipay and Goldman Sachs will be hired as deal manager.
Alipay Korea chief Jung Hyeong-kwon, who used to work for Coupang, and his brother Jung Hyeong-jin, chief of Goldman Sachs Korea, are working together to make the investment possible, the report said. Goldman Sachs also played a key role when SoftBank invested US$1 billion in Coupang.
Coupang CEO Kim Bom has been trying to attract investments as its combined operating loss over two years reached 1.2 trillion won. The loss is close to the US$1.6 billion funding it attracted from SoftBank, Sequoia Capital and Black Rock.
The company has been spending heavily on logistics for operating its unique Rocket Delivery service, which helped it become the leading e-commerce firm in Korea.
Alibaba had been trying to expand its presence in Asia by investing in startups. The China-based firm acquired 51 percent stake worth US$1 billion in Southeast Asian online shopping firm Lazada in May and expanded the investment by buying 32 percent more in June.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)