SoftBank-backed Socar, South Korea’s largest car-sharing startup, tumbles on market debut – TechCrunch

sokarSouth Korea’s biggest car-sharing startup, the Seoul stock market, fell early on Monday even after pricing it below the low end of the market’s range.

Shares of Socar rose 1.25% from its IPO price of 28,000 won ($21.10) in the opening minutes of its debut, before 26,300 won and gave the firm a market cap of $642 million.

Last week, Soccer slashed its targeted IPO offering to 102 billion won ($78.1 million), giving the car-sharing company a valuation of 966.5 billion won ($731 million) before the start of business.

The soccer debut came amid a sluggish period in the IPO market in South Korea, which prompted a range of Korean companies to delay their listing plans.

Analysts attributed the sluggish opening day of SOCAR to higher valuations and a slowdown in the IPO market, which is battling the global economic slowdown.

Soccer CEO Jeuk Park previously told TechCrunch that the company was going ahead with its listing plans because it was confident of its performance and expected to generate both operating profit and net profit by the end of this year.

Instead of waiting for the stock market to recover to higher valuations for the next two to three years, he said, Korean mobility startups preferred investing in organic/inorganic growth with IPO proceeds.

“First of all, soccer’s growth is faster than expected in the event of a reopening” [after the COVID-19 pandemic],” Park said. “The stock market is expected to be tough for some time, but the mobility industry will grow at a rapid pace that we cannot afford to miss at this critical time; we are looking to invest in mergers and acquisitions and in new businesses and technology. Will focus on speeding up.”

The company plans to increase its services and geographic expansion efforts through acquisitions, to become a mobility super-app with a goal of posting 1 trillion won ($748 million) revenue by 2025. 289 billion won last year, the park continued. He said it aims to reach annual revenue growth of 30% or more by 2025.

Park noted that Soccer, the first and only unicorn mobility startup in South Korea, aims to become the first listed for-profit unicorn company.

The 11-year-old firm, which started a car-sharing service in Jeju with 100 rental cars, now manages a fleet of over 19,000 vehicles nationwide, including car-sharing, car-hailing, electric bicycle rental Services are provided. , parking, vehicle management and vehicle maintenance. It will launch its Transport Super-App, which will provide all-in-one mobility services, later this year. Additionally, Soccer is building an ecosystem for the mobility of the future, including an autonomous driving platform, charging station service for electric cars, and micro-mobility.

Park said in an interview that Soccer is looking to enter the Southeast Asia market with its new business, Fleet Management System (FMS) B2B SaaS service, which it plans to start sales in the fourth quarter of this year. SOCAR builds on FMS technology based on its 19,000 vehicles that uses data such as vehicle location and surroundings to support effective monitoring and control systems, providing accurate information to drivers and management servers.

“FMS differs from car-sharing, which has been soccer’s core business for the past ten years, and if stabilizes, it is B2B SaaS that guarantees higher profit ratios,” Park said.

Sokar claims that the company has captured around 80% market share in South Korea, with over 11.4 million users and 1.4 million monthly active users this year.

The Korean car-hailing company has established Sokar Malaysia, a 79% stake owned by SK Inc., and launched services in Malaysia in 2018 and Indonesia in 2020.

Soccer, backed by SoftBank, and Korean strategic investor SK Inc., entered the unicorn club with nearly 183.2 billion won ($150 million in March) in March with funding of 1.3 trillion won (about $1 billion) from Lotte Rentals, which is a rental car unit. South Korean Lotte Group. The startup raised a total of 379.7 billion won ($284.2 million) since its inception in 2011, prior to its IPO.

Major shareholders of the company including SoftBank, SK Inc., Lotte Rental and Altos Ventures will keep their stake as they agreed to a lock-up period of up to six months.

Sokar was founded in 2011 by Lee Jae-woong, who co-founded Daum Communications, South Korea’s largest Internet portal operator; Daum merged with Cacao in 2014. Jaeuk Park, a serial entrepreneur who founded VCNC, an operator messaging app for couples called Between, in 2011, sold VCNC to Socar in 2018. Following the sale of VCNC, Park joined Socar’s Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), headed Socar’s ride-hailing business TADA and took over as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2020 after Lee stepped down.

Korean game maker Crafton acquired VCNC’s messaging app unit in May 2021, while Viva Republica, a Korean financial super app toss operator, bought a 60% stake in VCNC’s ride-hailing business Tada for an undisclosed amount in October last year.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s TMAP Mobility, whose investors include Uber Technologies and SK Inc.’s investment firm SK Square, said on monday It has raised $149.2 million (Won 200 billion) from strategic investor KB Bank. Another Korean car-hailing platform Kakao Mobility, which also planned an IPO between 2022 and 2023, said last week it is ended its sales negotiations With Korean private equity firm MBK Partners.

SoftBank-backed Socar, South Korea’s largest car-sharing startup, tumbles on market debut

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