SEOUL, Nov. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — Japanese software giant Softbank Group Corp.’s chairman, Masayoshi Son, a third-generation Korean-Japanese most widely known by his Korean name “Son Jeong-ui” here, has reportedly decided to invest US$2 billion in Coupang, leaving experts seeking an explanation as to Son’s great interest in the Korean e-commerce website.
Meanwhile, other competing Korean e-commerce websites have also announced large investment, signaling intense competition between various online shopping portals.
The Softbank Vision Fund revealed that it was investing $2 billion into Coupang, the second investment by Softbank in Coupang in three years, and the largest foreign investment in a Korean internet-based company.
Previously, the Softbank Vision Fund invested $1 billion in Coupang in 2015.
It has been reported that Softbank’s appraisal of Coupang’s corporate value is pegged at $9 billion, which was the basis upon which Softbank forked out additional funds for the recent investment offer.
In 2015, the company valued Coupang’s worth at $5 billion. In just three years, Softbank has raised Coupang’s evaluation by nearly two-fold.
In actuality, Coupang’s sales have skyrocketed from just 347.5 billion won (US$3.06 billion) in 2014 to 5 trillion won this year, an estimate projected by Coupang.
Experts say that Coupang’s promising future attracted the huge investment by Softbank, a company known for its generous investment in overseas companies with high prospects.
Chairman Son’s previous investments in China’s Alibaba, India’s Snapdeal and Finland’s Supercell all outperformed expectations, bringing huge returns to Softbank as a result.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)