Stanley Printmiller (L) and Bill Ackman
Coupang, called Amazon of South Korea, nearly doubling from its $ 35 per share price shortly after it opened on Thursday lunchtime on the New York Stock Exchange.
The stock later reduced those gains, closing nearly 41% at $ 49.25 per share, giving Coupang a market cap of $ 84.5 billion.
Printmiller, the billionaire CEO of the Duquesne Family Office, was a long-time pre-IPO investor in the Seoul-based company. Kevin Warsh, an advisor to Druckermiller, told CNBC’s Becky Quick. Warsh, a former Federal Reserve Governor, joined the board of directors of Coupang in 2019. Warsh owns a total of 280,662 shares of Coupang, according to a Filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ackman, the billionaire who runs Pershing Square Capital Management hedge fund, personally invested in Coupang, a source close to the situation, CNBC said. It is unclear when this investment was made. But a Reuters report in 2014 mentions Ackman as an investor.
Coupang raised $ 4.6 billion in its initial public offering, the largest so far in the US this year. The company sold 130 million shares on Wednesday night at $ 35 each, above its target range of $ 32-34.
The company was founded in 2010 by Bom Kim who continues to serve as CEO. Other investors are Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank group.
“When we talk about Coupang for what it is, it’s Amazon, but it’s Amazon with one UPS attached to it with With the Dash, with Instacart, with a little shot Netflix and it’s all integrated on this technology platform with an extreme level of customer focus, “he said Lydia Jett, Investment partner at SoftBank Vision Fund and member of the Coupang Board of Directors since 2018.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund owns around a third of Coupang invested billions of dollars into the company. In an interview on CNBCs “Squawk Alley” Jett said it didn’t take long to realize Kim is a top notch founder who deserves support.
“When I met Bom and spent three days with him in Seoul, I was overwhelmed by his company’s customer understanding and focus, the innovation that was taking place,” said Jett. “I knew that this company was doing something radically different from its competition and that customers were responding,” she added. “You can see that in the company’s numbers.”
Coupang’s total sales in 2020 were $ 12 billion, up nearly 91% year over year. In 2020, the company posted an operating loss of $ 527.7 million – an 18% decrease from 2019 and a decrease of nearly 50% from 2018.
The company was ranked # 2 on the CNBC Disruptor 50 list last year.