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20 March 2018, 04:23 | Ruby West
Alibaba injects extra $2 billion into Southeast Asian e-commerce firm
Alibaba Group will invest a further US$2 billion (S$2.6 billion) into Singapore-based e-commerce company Lazada, and Ms Lucy Peng - one of Alibaba's 18 co-founders and current chairman of Lazada - will take over as chief executive officer of Lazada.
Lazada founder Max Bittner, who had been its chief executive officer since 2012, will assume the role of senior advisor to Alibaba Group and "assist in the transition and future worldwide growth strategies".
Alibaba's stake will increase to an undisclosed size following the latest investment, a spokeswoman told Reuters.
Lazada founder Max Bittner, who has served as CEO since 2012, will take on the role of senior advisor to Alibaba.
It held an 83 per cent stake prior to the investment, which now totals US$4 billion after a US$2 billion infusion over the past two years.
Supported by huge revenue and rising prices of Alibaba's shares, its new financing at Lazada underscores the ambitious global drive to secure a larger share of the billions of dollars of a rapidly expanding online trading market.
"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. "I am excited about the future for Lazada and Lazadians and I look forward to continuing to contribute to the success of the business by helping Lucy and Alibaba's management", Bittner said.
The region's online economy is expected to grow by as much as $200 billion by 2025, with this growth largely driven by eCommerce. Last year, Amazonlaunched Prime Now in Singapore and introduced its same-day express delivery system to the country.
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