Japan’s bazaar app Mercari applies for IPO: Nikkei

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese peer-to-peer marketplace app operator Mercari has applied to list its shares with the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which could be the biggest initial public offering (IPO) this year, the Nikkei business daily said on Saturday.

The IPO is expected as early as by the end of the year and could raise more than 100 billion yen ($901 million), the report said. Mercari, founded in 2013, is likely to list either on the bourse’s first section or the Mothers market for startups, it added.

Mercari has built a niche in Japan among women in their 20s and 30s who are using it to buy and sell cosmetics, bags used clothes.

Mercari is gaining popularity in the United States as an alternative to Amazon or eBay. If it keeps expanding in the U.S., it would be a rare success story for an Asian startup there.

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)