Online retail Lazada.com to get fresh capital from JPMorgan ChaseBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
In a statement released Wednesday evening, Lazada said the additional resources would be used for the company’s continued expansion in Asia, where the company has been recognized as one of the leading players in the e-commerce sector.
“We feel very honored to welcome JPMorgan to our investor group and are particularly excited to be joined by an investor that shares our vision and belief in the huge potential of this populous region replicating online shopping behaviors in other countries,” Lazada regional CEO Maximilian Bittner said.
“This will further support our growth as we strive to offer all of our customers fast, convenient and secure online shopping experiences,” he said.
The investment will be made through JPMorgan Asset Management’s branch in Germany. JP Morgan Asset management supervises about $2 trillion in funds.
Lazada is owned by German incubator firm Rocket Internet GmbH, often described in the industry as a “serial cloner” because many of its online businesses have striking similarities to other successful websites launched in other countries.
“We are excited to partner with Lazada as it continues to expand its e-commerce presence in Southeast Asia,” said Robert Cousin, the JPMorgan portfolio manager who worked on the deal from New York.
The Lazada shopping portal was launched in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam six months ago. The website is patterned closely after United States-based shopping website, Amazon.com.
Since its launch, Lazada said it has been able to dislodge most of its established local and international competitors, in terms of the number of monthly visitors and revenues, according to web-ranking site Alexa.com.
The company said it has risen to the ranks of the top local B2C (business to consumer) e-commerce sites in all of its markets.
“This growth is a testament to the huge potential of this region with a population of more than 600 million people and a growing young middle class which are embracing new online experiences – ranging from e-commerce to social media – at an ever-increasing pace through their mobile phones or other connected devices,” Lazada said.
Lazada has 1,000 employees in the region although the company has been reported to have laid off several dozen of its Filipino employees last month due to undisclosed reasons.
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