Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Qoo10 acquires U.S. shopping platform ‘Wish’ for $173M

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Singapore-based online marketplace Qoo10, known for its deal appetite for Korean e-commerce operators, is set to acquire the assets and liabilities of the U.S. shopping platform ‘Wish’ for $173 million. 

Qoo10 announced the signing of an asset purchase agreement with Nasdaq-listed ContextLogic, Wish’s parent company, on Feb. 10. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2024, subject to approval from ContextLogic’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions.
Upon completion of the transaction, the Wish brand and platform will be integrated into the Qoo10 family of businesses, while ContextLogic, Wish’s former parent company, will continue to operate as a publicly listed entity, maintaining approximately $2.7 billion of net operating losses.
Founded in 2010 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, Wish has a catalog of more than 80 million items spanning fashion, beauty and electronics, with a significant portion of its sales coming from the United States and Europe. Wish operates in 200 countries and serves customers in 33 languages.
Yet the U.S. shopping platform has experienced financial setbacks. It recorded $60 million in revenue in the third quarter of 2023, a 52 percent year-over-year decline.
For Qoo10, primarily focused on Southeast Asian markets, the acquisition represents an opportunity to not only attract new customers, but also to gain access to Wish’s logistics infrastructure, extending its reach beyond Asia to Europe and North America.
Furthermore, the acquisition presents a gateway for small Korean businesses to expand internationally amid stiff competition from low-cost Chinese products on platforms like AliExpress and Temu.
“With the acquisition of Wish, Qoo10 and Wish will offer a comprehensive platform for merchants, sellers, buyers and customers globally to realize the potential of a truly global marketplace,” remarked Qoo10 CEO and Founder Ku Young-bae. “We are committed to further facilitating the overseas expansion of Korean sellers and products, thereby contributing to the growth of Korean industry.” 
Ku, the founder of Gmarket, Korea’s first e-commerce marketplace, agreed to a 10-year noncompete clause in the local e-commerce industry when selling Gmarket to eBay in 2009. Ku founded Qoo10 in Singapore and Japan in 2010, later expanding into Southeast Asia, China, and India. 
Following the expiration of the clause, Ku has leveraged Qoo10’s platform to acquire domestic e-commerce players like TMON, Interpark and WeMakePrice.


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