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Alibaba invests additional $2 billion in Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada

20 March 2018, 04:29 | Melanie Burgess

Alibaba invests additional $2 billion in Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada

Alibaba Invests a Further US$2 Billion in Lazada to Accelerate Region's E-Commerce

Alibaba has announced that it will invest an additional US$2 billion into Southeast Asia-based ecommerce platform Lazada, upping its total investment to US$4 billion.

Lazada, which Alibaba acquired 83 percent in previous year, has operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and its headquarters in Singapore. Alibaba Co-founder and Ant Financial Executive Chairman Lucy Peng will replace Maximilian Bittner as CEO, in addition to her existing role as Lazada Chairwoman.

In a statement published on the Lazada website today (19 March), it was also announced that Lucy Peng, who now serves as Lazada's Chairman, will assume the additional role of chief executive officer.

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. Peng is one of the 18 founders and a senior partner in the Alibaba Group.

There is clearly a lot of opportunities available in Southeast Asian e-commerce, and Alibaba increasing its stake in Lazada is a sign of the firm's commitment to growth in the region.

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Lazada operates online retail platforms across Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore and is the leading e-commerce provider in the region, with about 560 million consumers using the platform.

Alongside the investment, Alibaba said that the start-up would also have a new CEO. "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.

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.

"Lazada is well-positioned for the next phase of development and of Internet-enabled commerce in this region", Ms Peng said.

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