Daraz Group and its parent organization Rocket Internet SE have both announced today that the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has acquired Daraz. Alibaba Group acquired the entire share capital from Rocket Internet for an undisclosed amount, making Daraz Group an wholly owned subsidiary under Jack Ma’s empire.
This purchase will allow Alibaba to further its reach in Southeast Asia where it recently doubled its investment in Lazada, another popular e-commerce platform. It is interesting to note that Lazada was also owned by Rocket Internet before Alibaba bought a controlling stake of the company in April 2016.
Daraz was founded in Pakistan in 2012 and has since grown to become not only the most popular online shopping destination in the country, but a popular platform in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. It has 30,000 sellers and 500 brands on its platform, with 2 million products available to its 5 million customers. Their product offerings cover the areas of consumer electronics, household items, beauty, fashion, sports and even groceries. It also offers multiple payment options, including cash-on-delivery.
“We are excited for Daraz to become a part of the Alibaba ecosystem,” said Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang. “Together, we can now empower entrepreneurs to better serve consumers in the region through our technology and expertise.”
Zhang said the Daraz team is a natural fit, sharing Alibaba’s values and beliefs that long-term economic development in the region will depend on a technology-enabled commerce ecosystem.
“Together with Alibaba, we are ready to empower entrepreneurs in the region and fulfill our promise to offer our customers the best selection of products with a high-level of convenience,” says Daraz Co-CEO Jonathan Doerr. “With hard work and dedication, we have started the e-commerce journey in our markets, but still, we have only scratched the surface of its potential,” Co-CEO Bjarke Mikkelsen adds.
It is not hard to see why Jack Ma and his Alibaba Group is eyeing the Southeast Asian markets. The five South Asian countries that Daraz operates in have a combined population of over 460 million, 60% of which are under the age of 35. It also does not overlap with Lazada’s offering in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Alibaba co-founder Lucy Peng, who is also the former chairman and CEO of the Alibaba-affliate Ant Financial Group, was recently put in charge as Lazada’s new CEO, a move that shows the significant importance that Alibaba places on the Southeast market.
Daraz will continue to operate under the same brand name following the transaction, but will Alibaba send new hands to switch out their co-CEOs?