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SoftBank-backed e-commerce giant Coupang files for IPO

Logos on facade at the shared headquarters of Internet company Coupang and security company SentinelOne in the Silicon Valley town of Mountain View, California, October 28, 2018.

Smith Collection | Gado | Archive Photos | Getty Images

South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang, backed by SoftBank Group, filed for an initial public offering on Friday, revealing rapid revenue growth and narrowing losses as it gears up for a stock market debut in the United States.

In its filing, Coupang said 2020 total revenue jumped 91% to $11.97 billion from a year earlier, and net loss narrowed to $474.9 million from $698.8 million in the same period.

The online retailer is looking to cash in on investor appetite for high-growth tech stocks, at a time when the U.S. IPO market is at its strongest in more than two decades.

Around the world, e-commerce companies have experienced a surge in demand as the Covid-19 pandemic forced consumers to stay at home and shop online.

Founded in 2010 by 41-year-old Harvard graduate Bom Kim, Seoul-based Coupang made a splash with its ‘Rocket Delivery’ service that promised delivery within 24 hours, in a sharp blow to the country’s family-owned retail conglomerates including Shinsegae and Lotte.

SoftBank invested $1 billion in Coupang in 2015, and its Vision Fund invested an additional $2 billion in 2018. In its last funding round, Coupang was valued at $9 billion.

Goldman Sachs, Allen & Co, JP Morgan, BofA Securities and Citigroup are among the underwriters for the offering.

Coupang ranked No. 2 on the 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50 list.

—CNBC contributed to this report.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

The deadline has been extended for nominations for the 2021 CNBC Disruptor 50, a list of private firms using breakthrough technology to become the next generation of great public companies. Submit by Friday, Feb. 19, at 3 pm EST.