Japanese market app Mercari plans $1.8bn IPO for global expansion
Japanese online marketplace Mercari looks to take out a Tokyo listing in June, in a bid to increase its company value to a potential 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion), according to local media reports.
The Nikkei newspaper said on Friday that Mercari - an app-based flea market type retailer - plans to launch an initial public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's Mothers market for startups.
Experts said that the Tokyo-based company looks to both sell existing shares and issue new equity in the IPO. The move hopes to fund expansion in overseas markets and enter into new fields of business, reported the Nikkei.
The start-up company finished filing for an IPO mid-last year, with the scope of listing before Christmas. However, Japan's Financial Services Agency found a feature of Mercari to be high-risk -- allowing sellers to use the revenue made from the sale of one item to then buy another item -- and halted the IPO train, insisting Mercari be placed in a business category subject to more regulation.
As a result, the firm has applied to a "less-stringent category," said the Nikkei.
Founded in 2013, Mercari gives users the power to buy and sell secondhand goods through an app on their smartphones, much like US giant's eBay or Amazon. However, the Japanese app targets specifically young people or those without their own bank account and credit card, which has added to its soaring success.
According to reports, the Mercari app has been downloaded 100 million times by users in Japan, the UK and the US.
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