Chinese tech giant Alibaba on Monday announced that it will pour additional $2 billion in the popular Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada in a bid to make further push to its investment drive in the region. In the previous financial year, Alibaba increased its holding in the Singapore headquartered firm from 51% to 81% after it made an investment of almost $1 billion.
Now with the latest investment, Chinese tech giant has taken its total investment in Lazada to nearly $4 billion. Lazada offers online retail service in almost all the key Southeast Asian market including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.
Alongside additional investment, Alibaba also announced that Lazada will have a new CEO at its helm. Lucy Peng, one of the co-founders of Alibaba group and also Lazada’s current chairwoman, will take up the additional role of CEO in the e-commerce startup. She will replace the current and incumbent CEO Maximilian Bittner.
Alibaba’s fresh investment in Lazada once again signifies the Southeast Asian region’s highly lucrative e- commerce market. The berserk internet penetration over the last few years is widely considered to be the main factor behind the phenomenal growth of the e-commerce industry. According to a rough estimate, region’s internet economy is expected to reach whopping $200 billion and e-commerce is expected to be a big part of it.
The region’s promising growth is what seemed to have eventually propelled Amazon to make a grand entry in the e-commerce market last year.
Meanwhile, Alibaba is continuously exploring growth opportunities in other emerging economies. For instance, the Chinese conglomerate has made a slew of investments in several high profile startups in India. It has made investments in companies like Paytm, Bigbasket and Zomato.