Alibaba Group announced today that it will invest another $2 billion in Lazada Group in an effort to accelerate its growth and deepen its integration with the Alibaba ecosystem. Lazada is the largest e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia.
Lazada has operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. With this new investment, Alibaba Group’s total investment in Lazada will reach $4 billion, including the $1 billion in 2016 to hold Lazada, and $1 billion in 2017 when Alibaba increased its stake in Lazada to 83 percent.
Alibaba said that this investment underscores its confidence in the future success of Lazada’s business and the growth prospects of the Southeast Asian market, which is crucial in Alibaba’s global growth strategy. The increased investment will also help Lazada to become more synergized with the Alibaba ecosystem, allowing Lazada to use Alibaba resources to serve consumers and empower Southeast Asian merchants in innovative ways.
This investment also highlights Alibaba’s commitment to cultivating talent and youth in Southeast Asia by providing a broad platform for local talents to contribute to the development of their respective country’s digital economy. With Alibaba’s further support for capital and resources, Lazada Group’s board approved a management adjustment. Lucy Peng, the current chairman of Lazada Group, will also serve as CEO to promote Lazada’s development strategy. Peng is one of the 18 founders and senior partners of Alibaba.
Lazada Founder Max Bittner, who was CEO since 2012, will serve as senior advisor to Alibaba Group and assist the Lazada management adjustment and future international development strategy.
“The rising youth in Southeast Asia, the high penetration of mobile internet, and the volume of e-commerce, which accounts for only three percent of total retail sales, have made us confident in investing in the Southeast Asian market,” Peng said. “Lazada has taken the strategic lead and is fully capable of seizing next development opportunities in Southeast Asia’s internet business, and we are very excited about the business opportunities brought about by the rapid growth.”
Bittner said, “Additional funds and resources from Alibaba Group will not only benefit Lazada, but will also benefit the whole Southeast Asia’s e-commerce market. I am very excited about the future of Lazada and the future of all the Lazada staff. I look forward to helping Lucy and Alibaba executives in management and will continue to contribute to Lazada. ”