Alibaba commits to Lazada with fresh $2bn investment

Alibaba commits to Lazada with fresh $2bn investment

The Alibaba Group announced Monday it will invest $2 billion in online retailer Lazada as the company looks to increase its presence in Southeast Asia. Lazada founder Max Bittner, who has served as CEO since 2012, will take on the role of senior advisor to the Alibaba Group, to assist in the transition and future worldwide growth strategy. Also, Lazada chairwoman Lucy Peng will now also take on the role of CEO.

For the record, Alibaba had invested almost Dollars 2 billion in Lazada Group during the last two years for acquiring a controlling stake in the firm.

"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.

Peng is also a senior partner at Alibaba and executive chair at Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba.




It follows a year of brisk expansion in Southeast Asia by the Chinese e-commerce giant and its payment affiliate Ant Financial, as it faces off against the world's biggest online retailer Amazon.com Inc and fellow Chinese retailer JD.com Inc to tap new consumers in the region. While Alibaba declined to give details of how much stake the company would have in Lazada after the latest investment, Bloomberg reports that in an emailed statement, Lucy said, "We feel very confident to double down on Southeast Asia.We are excited about the incredible opportunities for super-charged growth".

Launched in 2012, Lazada operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. This brings the total amount invested in Lazada by Alibaba to US$4 billion, to date.

Alibaba works in over 200 countries and more than 500 million people use its shopping apps every month.

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.

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