Korean e-commerce grocery delivery startup Market Kurly has attracted $196 million or 225.4 billion won of Series F investment as it prepares for an IPO (initial public offering) on the Korean stock market. With this investment, the unicorn startup’s corporate value was estimated at $2.17 billion or 2.5 trillion won, a 2.6-fold increase about a year after the Series E investment in 2020.
To seek domestic listing soon
Market Kurly’s latest investment comes from existing investors SPEX Management, DST Global, Sequoia Capital China, and Hillhouse Capital. New investors that participated include Millennium Management, which manages about $52 billion in assets (about 59 trillion won), and CJ Korea Express, which signed a business agreement to expand Market Kurly’s Saetbyul delivery nationwide in April.
Market Kurly, which has been exploring overseas and Korean stock market listings, said that it has recently decided to pursue a listing on the Korean stock market after closely examining various conditions, including business models and domestic and overseas stock market conditions.
“We are very pleased that we can continue to support Market Kurly through this investment,” said Hermes Li of Spex Management, the lead investor in the investment. “Market Kurly is the world’s fastest-growing company and a leader in innovating the Korean e-commerce market. It is expected to achieve significant growth by expanding new service areas and adding various product categories. Espex is looking forward to further growth with Market Kurly over the next several years,” Hermes added.
To upgrade technology and enhance the consumer experience
The startup plans to invest the Series F investment secured this time in technology development. It plans to invest heavily in upgrading the data infrastructure to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the overall logistics service, including product ordering, inventory management, order processing, and delivery.
Market Kurly recently increased the number of employees in the technology development team by 50% compared to the end of last year and plans to double the number of employees in the second half of this year. In addition, to improve the customer experience, it will invest in various services technology fields such as UI and UX advancement, enhancement of ordering and payment convenience, and hiring developers and professional personnel to support it. Also, Market Kurly’s Saetbyul delivery service, provided in Seoul and other metropolitan areas, will be expanded to more areas.
Sophie Kim, CEO of Market Kurly, said, “This investment is because Market Kurly has transformed consumers’ shopping habits, which have stayed offline for decades to online, by providing innovative delivery and product experiences.” “Based on this investment, we will strive for win-win cooperation, and increase customer value through technology investment and attract excellent talent to innovate the grocery market. We will lead in the future,” she added.
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