Korean e-commerce firm Coupang raises $2 billion from SoftBank’s Vision Fund

TechCrunch | 11/20/2018 | Staff
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Just days after a CIA report concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, SoftBank’s Vision Fund — the gargantuan investment vehicle anchored by a $45 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s PIF sovereign fund — is back in check-writing action.

Coupang, Korea’s largest e-commerce firm, revealed today that it has raised $2 billion from the Vision Fund. The investment comes weeks after SoftBank’s stake in Coupang was transferred over the Vision Fund, as the firm has done with a number of its investment.

Valuation - Source - Deal - TechCrunch - Coupang

No valuation was announced, but a source close to the deal told TechCrunch that it values Coupang at $9 billion post-money. This deal, which we understand is entirely new stock with no secondary sales, takes Coupang to $3.4 billion raised to date. Its last round was a $1 billion investment from SoftBank in 2015.

The deal is a massive validation for Coupang, which becomes the first Korean company to form a part of the Vision Fund, which SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son has championed as a network of global winners, but the link to the Khashoggi threatens to sour the achievement.

Prince - Mohammed - Bin - Salman - Killing

Prince Mohammed bin Salman is widely accused of ordering the killing of Washington Post reporter Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of the Saudi regime. A Saudi-led investigation exonerated the prince’s role, however the CIA report released over the last week places the blame fairly squarely on his shoulders — while others in the Saudi royal family are reportedly plotting to replace the price as the next in line to the throne.

Son himself condemned the killing as an “act against humanity” but, in a recent analyst presentation, he added that SoftBank has a “responsibility” to Saudi Arabia to deploy the capital and continue the Vision Fund.

PIF - Role - Vision - Fund

The PIF’s role in Vision Fund — it is the largest...
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