Korean unicorn startup Market Kurly, which had last year announced its solid plan to launch an IPO in 2023, has called off its plan amidst worsening economic parameters and a slump in the market.
“We have decided to postpone listing on the Korea Exchange (KOSPI), considering market sentiment remained weak amid the global market uncertainties,” the company said in a statement.
The startup passed the preliminary listing screening on August 2022 and had to complete the initial public offering (IPO) process within six months. The IPO deadline for Kurly is on February 2023, but the startup has pulled out of it. Now, Kurly will have to start from scratch should it wants to resume its listing.
Kurly had raised 250 billion won ($196.7 million) in pre-IPO funding in December 2021, and expectations grew that Kurly could be Korea’s first e-commerce startup to go public. But the IPO market lost steam in 2022 many startups called off their public issue plans.
Market Kurly is popular in Korea for its first early morning delivery service, ‘Saetbyeol Delivery,’ where a customer orders a product before 11 pm and it is delivered by 7 am the next day. However, the rising delivery, packaging and distribution cost are affecting Kurly’s revenue generation plans. The next-day fresh food delivery market has turned lackluster.
Kurly has diversified its product portfolio by adding a non-fresh food beauty platform modeled by Blackpink member Jennie. Beauty Kurly has about 1,000 beauty brands, including luxury Hermes, Gucci, and Sulwhasoo. Despite uncertainties and revenue decrease, Kurly claims to have enough cash reserves to carry the company through the economic downturn. “Kurly will resume the IPO at the optimal time when we can fully evaluate our valuation in the future,” the company said in its statement.
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