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Mercari targets JPY 131bn IPO
Posted on Monday, 11 June 2018 12:21
Mercari is carrying out what Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows is the country’s largest initial public offering (IPO), and the technology sector’s biggest, since June 2016 when LINE’s listing in Tokyo fetched USD 1.32 billion.

Japan’s first tech startup unicorn is set to raise a maximum of JPY 130.66 billion (USD 1.19 billion) through the sale of 43.55 million new, existing and overallotment shares at the top end of its bookbuilding range, namely JPY 3,000 apiece.

Daiwa Securities, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, Mizuho Financial, and Nomura Holdings are among the underwriters handling the debut slated for 19th June that gives Mercari a market capitalisation of JPY 405.99 billion.

James Riney, the head of 500 Startups in Japan, told Bloomberg: “What I hope people realise is that you don’t need to be in Silicon Valley to build a unicorn.

“You can build one in Tokyo. Yamada-san [founder Shintaro Yamada] was able to show that in a pretty short amount of time, which a lot of people didn’t think was possible.”

Last month Riney told TechCrunch, “this is an amazing win for Japan’s startup ecosystem,” before adding, “I wouldn’t be surprised if a “Mercari mafia” of incredible founders rise after this IPO”.

The peer-to-peer marketplace app operator, which is similar to eBay, intends to use proceeds for international growth, though Bloomberg added money could also expand financial services to branch out the merpay payment system to “offline services such as bike sharing”.

Mercari is one of only two Japanese companies that feature in the most recent Global Unicorn Club, which is CB Insights’ list of startups with billion-dollar-plus valuations, though the mobile-only e-commerce platform was officially the first to appear on the line-up.

© Zephus Ltd