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Alibaba puts Dollars 2 bln more into Lazada, gives it new CEO
20 March 2018, 04:28 | Gordon Grant
Alibaba Invests a Further US$2 Billion in Lazada to Accelerate Region's E-Commerce
"It's a sign of how seriously Alibaba perceive the growth opportunity, and competitive threats, in Southeast Asia", said James Lloyd, Asia-Pacific fintech leader at EY.
Lucy Peng, a co-founder at Alibaba and now Lazada's chairwoman, would take on the additional role from current chief Maximilian Bittner. The company held a 83% stake in Lazada before the investment, which now stands at 4 billion United States dollars after the 2 billion USD injection over the past two years.
Alibaba's share will increase to an unnamed figure since the last investment. Also, Lazada chairwoman Lucy Peng will now also take on the role of CEO. Peng is one of the 18 founders and a senior partner in Alibaba.
Alibaba's move is not surprising, as Southeast Asia is fast becoming a very profitable market for eCommerce businesses now that millions of Internet users have discovered the joys of online shopping.
"The investment highlights Alibaba's confidence in Lazada's future business success and Southeast Asian growth prospects, a region that is a key part of Alibaba's global growth strategy", said the Chinese technology giant in official statement.
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Peng knows this too well, saying in a statement that due to the "young population, high mobile penetration and just 3 percent of the region's retail sales now conducted online", Alibaba is extremely confident in its decision to double down on the region.
"We continue to focus on initiatives that unlock the full potential of the e-commerce market that these investments create, to advance SingPost's transformation into a leading postal and e-commerce logistics company", he said.
Amazon entered the foray last year, but it remains only in Singapore, while Shopee is a two-year-old entrant bankrolled by Sea, formerly Garena, which raised over $1 billion in a U.S. IPO last year.
Including Monday's announcement, Alibaba will have ponied up a total of $4 billion to invest into Lazada, which has operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.
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