KRX to nurture 1st venture firm on Kosdaq under ‘Tesla Policy’

By Son Ji-hyoung
  • Published : Dec 11, 2017 - 18:34
  • Updated : Dec 11, 2017 - 18:44
Information technology solutions firm Cafe24 gained Monday preliminary approval for an initial public offering on the nation‘s second-tier Kosdaq market operated by the Korea Exchange, marking the first company to be listed through the operator’s “Tesla Policy” introduced in December 2016.

Cafe24, a Korean company that offers IT solutions for sellers looking to create online retailers, is expected to earn some 40 billion won ($36.6 million) through the entry into Kosdaq slated in February 2018.

The Tesla Policy is designed to offer an abridged screening process to list a firm in the red that has high potential. 

(The Korea Exchange)
The policy is expected to prop up the second bourse as a “cradle of risk capital,” according to KRX, amid concerns about powerhouses’ flight from the Kosdaq. Internet giant Kakao was relisted from Kosdaq to the top-tier Kospi in July, while biosimilar maker Celltrion submitted documents to KRX to transfer to the Kospi from Kosdaq on Dec. 5.

The policy was named after Tesla, a US electric vehicle maker that suffered funding shortfalls from its foundation in 2004, but emerged as a leading player in the industry after being listed on the US tech-heavy Nasdaq in 2010.

KRX’s policy had faced lukewarm response until Monday’s announcement, in part due to underwriting securities firms’ risks. An underwriter is obliged to buy stocks from investors when the stock price falls below 90 percent of the initially offered price within three months, through what is locally called the “put-back option.”

Founded in 1999, Cafe24 had 2.72 billion won in net losses in 2016. Three securities firms -- Mirae Asset Daewoo, Yuanta Securities and Hanwha Investment & Securities -- will participate in the IPO process as underwriters.

By Son Ji-hyoung