July 09, 2020

SoftBank-backed ecommerce major Coupang said to buy Hooq’s assets


Coupang, a major ecommerce player based   in South Korea, is reportedly buying the software of Hooq, the Singtel-backed video-streaming service that filed for liquidation in March.

Coupang had already worked out a deal to buy Hooq’s assets, according to a report by Bloomberg that cited people familiar with the matter.

Jointly founded by Singtel, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros., Hooq provided over-the-top video services in Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and India. Earlier this year, it was reported that Hooq was filing for liquidation after failing to demonstrate sufficient growth and provide sustainable returns.

Coupang, on the other hand, is dubbed as South Korea’s Amazon. It’s backed by big-name investors such as SoftBank, Sequoia Capital, and BlackRock.

In 2018, Coupang launched its food delivery service Rocket Fresh, with over 160 delivery bases across the country. It also introduced its own digital payment system, OneTouch Payment, which allows its customers to check out with a single touch on their mobile devices.

As of the end of 2019, Coupang achieved more than US$10 billion in gross merchandise value. It currently delivers 3.3 million items each day, up from an average of 2.2 million last year.

With a valuation of US$9 billion, Coupang is said to be seeking an initial public offering as soon as next year. But in the meantime, it seems keen to join the rising competition among video-streaming players in Asia.

The latest news about Coupang comes shortly after Chinese tech giant Tencent purchased Malaysia-based streaming service Iflix as it seeks to expand its own on-demand video service WeTV across Southeast Asia. US giant Netflix is still the dominant player in the region in terms of average weekly watch minutes.