(Bloomberg) -- South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Corp. is preparing for an initial public offering as soon as 2021, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Seoul-based company, founded in 2010 by Chief Executive Officer Bom Kim and said to be valued at $9 billion in late 2018, has begun working on tax structuring among other changes as it eyes a public listing next year, said one of the people, who requested anonymity because the matter is private. A company representative declined to comment.

Last month, Coupang -- which is backed by investors including SoftBank Group Corp.’s giant Vision Fund, BlackRock and Sequoia Capital -- appointed Alberto Fornaro as chief financial officer to succeed Richard Song. Earlier in 2019, it hired Jay Jorgensen, a former Walmart Inc. executive, as general counsel and chief compliance officer.

In November 2018, the Vision Fund invested $2 billion in the company in a deal that valued Coupang at $9 billion, people familiar with the matter said at the time. That funding followed $1 billion from SoftBank itself in 2015, valuing the startup at about $5 billion.

Korea’s e-commerce market is the fifth-largest in the world and on track to be the third-largest by 2021, behind only China and the U.S., according to Coupang.

Coupang -- whose app has been downloaded more than 25 million times -- had more than $10 billion in gross merchandise value on its platform as of Dec. 31, according to a person familiar with the company. Sales increased more than 60% year-over-year in 2019, the person said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Giles Turner in London at gturner35@bloomberg.net;Gillian Tan in New York at gtan129@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Molly Schuetz

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