Seoul-based unicorn startup Kurly, the operator of the grocery delivery app Market Kurly, has attracted a pre-IPO investment of 250 billion won/ $210 million from Anchor Equity Partners, a Hong Kong-based private equity fund. It is the first additional investment in five months since it attracted 225.4 billion won of Series F investment in July.
Kurly’s valuation expected to cross $5 billion
Anchor Equity, which has invested extensively in various domestic and foreign distribution and IT companies, participated as the sole investor in Kurly’s pre-IPO investment. The 250 billion won secured through this pre-IPO is the largest investment Kurly has received. With this pre-IPO investment, Kurly’s accumulated investment attracted more than 900 billion won $ 731 million, and the company’s value will be $ 3.3 billion.
This cumulative investment made Kurly the company that received the most investment in the domestic e-commerce industry. It also shows that global investors backing Kurly include DST Global, the world’s 7th largest venture capital (VC) company, Sequoia Capital China, the world’s 9th largest VC, Hillhouse Capital, Spex Management, and Millennium Management have confidence in Kurly’s business model. Anchor Equity also made an investment decision based on trust in Curley’s future growth potential and profitability.
The industry estimates that the corporate value of Kurly will exceed 7 trillion won or $5.8 billion when it goes public. In this pre-IPO enterprise value evaluation, Kurly has annual average sales growth of more than 100% since its foundation, 10 million cumulative members as of the end of 2021, and the repurchase rate exceeding 75%, average daily orders up to 150,000. The average purchase amount and purchase frequency of customers increase for Market Kurly has grown very rapidly and is expected to achieve solid growth with differentiated competitiveness in the future. In particular, with the nationwide expansion of the Saetbyeol delivery service being completed within the year, it is expected to generate profits. Kurly plans to speed up its IPO to list in the first half of 2022 as the pre-IPO has been completed.
IPO to be launched in the first half of 2022
Anchor Equity, which participated in Kurly’s pre-IPO, is a Hong Kong-based private equity fund known to invest in companies with high growth potential actively. Previously, it invested in distribution companies such as Presage and A Twosome Place, IT companies such as Kakao Entertainment and Line Games, Chinese smart parking company Haitian, and Japanese cartoon platform Kakao Picoma. In particular, this investment in Kurly pre-IPO was carried out while highly evaluating the success of Kurly’s IPO and long-term growth potential. It had experience making more than doubled profits by investing 250 billion won in Kakao Bank’s pre-IPO at the end of 2020.
Kurly plans to use the pre-IPO investment in various ways throughout the business. It plans to actively invest in advancing logistics service and data infrastructure, improving market Kurly service technology, recruiting professional personnel, attracting new members based on the expansion of the Saetbyeol delivery service area, expanding product categories and strengthening competitiveness.
In a media statement, Kim Jong-hoon, CFO of Kurly, said, “This pre-IPO investment attraction is the high growth rate Market Kurly has shown so far. I think that our efforts to provide the best service have been recognized. Regardless of this investment attraction, we are preparing for IPO for the first half of next year as planned. We will do our best to provide it.”
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