South Korea’s largest car-sharing startup, Sokar, fell on the Seoul stock market on Monday.
Socar shares rose 1.25 percent from their IPO price of 28,000 won ($21.10) in the first minutes, before closing at 26,300 won and giving the company a market value of $642 million.
Last week, Sokar lowered its target IPO offering to 102 billion won ($78.1 million), valuing the car-sharing company at 966.5 billion won ($731 million) before trading.
Sokar’s debut comes amid a slowdown in South Korea’s IPO market, prompting a string of Korean companies to delay their listing plans.
Analysts attribute the muted performance on the first day of the SoCal to expensive speculation and a slowdown in the IPO market, which is being weighed down by the global economic downturn.
Socar CEO Jacques Park previously told TechCrunch that the company is pushing ahead with its detailed plans because it is confident in its performance and is expected to deliver both operating profit and net profit by the end of this year.
Instead of waiting for the stock market to recover for the next two to three years, the Korean mobility startup has prioritized organic/inorganic growth investment with IPO proceeds.
“First of all, Sokar’s growth has been faster than expected at the time of its re-opening. [after the COVID-19 pandemic]” said Park. “The stock market is expected to be difficult for the time being, but as the mobility industry is growing rapidly, we will not miss this critical period; we will focus on accelerating mergers and acquisitions and investments in new businesses and technologies.”
The company aims to post 1 trillion won ($748 million) in revenue by 2025, and plans to boost its service and geographic expansion efforts through acquisitions, up from 289 billion won last year, Park continued. In the year It aims to achieve 30 percent or more annual revenue growth by 2025, he added.
South Korea’s first and only unicorn mobility startup, Sokar, aims to become the first listed profitable unicorn company, Park announced.
The 11-year-old company, which started its car-sharing service with 100 rental cars in Jeju, now manages more than 19,000 vehicles across the country, offering services including car-sharing, car transportation, and electric bike rentals. , parking, vehicle management and vehicle maintenance. It will launch its transportation super-app later this year, providing all-in-one mobility services. In addition, Socar is building an ecosystem for future mobility, including an autonomous driving platform, charging stations for electric cars, and micromobility.
Park said in the interview that Socar is looking to enter the Southeast Asian market with its new commercial, Fleet Management System (FMS) B2B SaaS service, which it plans to start selling in the fourth quarter of this year. SOCAR has built FMS technology based on its 19,000 vehicles that uses information such as vehicle location and location to provide accurate information to drivers and management servers to support effective monitoring and control systems.
“FMS is different from car sharing, which has been Socar’s core business for the past ten years, and is a B2B SaaS that ensures a stable and high profit ratio,” Park said.
Socar says the company has 80 percent of the market share in South Korea, with more than 11.4 million users this year and 1.4 million monthly active users.
Korean ride-hailing company Sokar Malaysia has established a 79 percent stake in SK Inc. to launch services in Malaysia in 2018 and Indonesia in 2020.
Socar, backed by SoftBank and Korean strategic investor SK Investor, entered the unicorn club by acquiring 183.2 billion won ($150 million in March) for 1.3 trillion won (roughly $1 billion) from South Korea’s Lotte Group in March, the rental car unit of Lotte Group. In the year The startup has raised a total of 379.7 billion won ($284.2 million) since its inception before its IPO in 2011.
The company’s major shareholders, including SoftBank, SK Inc, Lotte Rent and Altos Ventures, have agreed to a lock-up period of up to six months to hold their stake.
Sokar was founded in 2011 by Lee Jae-woong, who co-founded South Korea’s largest Internet portal operator Dam Communications. Daum merged into Kakao in 2014. The serial entrepreneur who founded VCNC in 2011 sold VCNC to Sokar, a messaging app operator for couples, in 2011. After the sale of V.CNC, Park joined Socar as Chief Strategy Officer. CSO) to lead Sokar’s ride-hailing business Tada and took over as CEO (CEO) in 2020 after Lee stepped down.
Korean game maker Crafton acquired messaging app VCNC in May 2021. Viva Republica bought a 60% stake in the Korean financial super app toss operator in VCNC’s riding business in October last year for an undisclosed amount.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s TMap Mobility, whose investors include Uber Technology and SK investment firm SK Square, said on Monday it had raised $149.2 million ($200 billion) from strategic investor KB Bank. Kakao Mobility, another Korean car-sharing platform that had been planning an IPO between 2022 and 2023, said last week it had ended sales talks with Korean private equity firm MBK Partners.