Kurly, the Korean online grocery startup, plans June IPO at estimated $5.9B valuation 

Kurly, a South Korea-based online grocery startup that provides next-day delivery services across the country, will go public by June next year. 

The startup, which declined to comment on how much it plans to raise via IPO, said it estimates the company valuation at approximately $5.9 billion after it goes public.  

The announcement comes after its $200 million Series F at a $2.2 billion valuation in July. 

A spokesperson at Kurly said the IPO is likely to be in June after it files an IPO application as early as December and expects to get approval in February by South Korean financial authorities. 

Kurly has reviewed its listing in the U.S. but changed the plan to a Korean IPO. The company, which will continue to focus on its business in the home market, does not have an overseas expansion plan, and that’s one of the reasons why Kurly will list in South Korea, the spokesperson at Kurly told TechCrunch. 

South Korean authorities have eased IPO requirements for Korea-based startups to attract them to get listed on the domestic bourse after Korean e-commerce company Coupang was listed on the New York Stock Exchange early this year.

The Korea Exchange announced in March it will allow companies with an expected market capitalization of $855 million (1 trillion WON) or more to get listed even if they do not meet financial requirements.  

Kurly was founded in 2015 by Sophie Kim, a former investment banker turned entrepreneur. 

The Seoul-based online grocery company said its IPO proceeds will be used to advance its research and development, enhance its order process and improve its payment system. It also plans to expand its headcount. 

The company claims that it has now about 9 million users. It posted $853 million (1trillion WON) transactions in 2020 and aims to generate $1.7 billion of transactions by the end of this year, according to the spokesperson. 

Competition in the online grocery delivery industry has been heating up, spurred by the pandemic. Kurly’s domestic competitors, including SSG.com, an e-commerce platform arm owned by Korean Shinsegae Group and Oasis Market, which recently closed fundraising, are also set to go public in 2022.