The momentum is in Lazada’s favour with the increased investment of another US$1 billion from tech giant Alibaba Group accelerating the ecommerce platform for regional expansion. Having already taken a stake in the platform which has presence in Southeast Asia including Malaysia, Jack Ma is upping his hold on the fast growing site to 83% from just 51% in April last year, signs that growth trajectory is already evident since taking the company.
Alibaba’s total investment accumulates to US$2 billion (RM8.6b) shows the aggressive nature of the Chinese tech powerhouse and the potential it sees in Lazada as it prepares for the explosion of online sales in this region. Currently only 3% on total retail sales is conducted over the net.
With the new investment, Lazada can scale up its operation and tap into parent company’s wealth of merchants who trade on Alibaba platform daily. The synergy is clear, with 560 million consumers in SEA the strategy is to fast-track online retail in anticipation for newer consumers choosing the internet to do their shopping. Lazada will be investing further in the marketplace, technology, payments and logistics, to enhance its services and provide an better consumer experience for online shoppers., as well as critical support for the region’s merchants, many of whom are small businesses.
Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group said “The e-commerce markets in the region are still relatively untapped, and we see a very positive upward trajectory ahead of us. We will continue to put our resources to work in Southeast Asia through Lazada to capture these growth opportunities,”.
During the past 12 months, both Lazada and Alibaba worked on a number of initiatives to advance e-commerce in Southeast Asia, endeavoring to lower barriers and facilitate borderless commerce. These initiatives include the establishment of an e-fulfillment center in Malaysia which forms part of Alibaba’s Electronic World Trading Platform (eWTP) strategy, advancing “Thailand 4.0”, and launching Taobao Collection in Singapore and Malaysia allowing local customers to shop for high quality products from China.