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Lazada to expand operations with $40-M fund from Swedish firm

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Lazada to expand operations with $40-M fund from Swedish firm

Swedish investment house Kinnevik is betting big on Southeast Asia’s economic rise through an investment of $40 million in online shopping site Lazada, which is emerging as a leading player in the region’s e-commerce sector.

The new investment comes shortly after Lazada announced that it now had the backing of JP Morgan Asset Management in Hong Kong.

“This provides Lazada with an exceptionally well-funded balance sheet to continue its fast growth in Southeast Asia,” said Lazada, an e-commerce site owned by German incubator Rocket Internet.

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The fresh funds would help the company further expand its already-growing reach and product line-up for its customers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

“By focusing on providing superior service to our customers we have grown into a trusted household brand and to broaden our assortment is a natural next step for us,” Lazada’s regional CEO Maximilian Bittner said.

Lazada recently added fashion to its extensive product offering, which ranges from consumer electronics to household goods, toys and sports equipment.

“Kinnevik has a proven track-record of investing in emerging markets and we are very excited to have such a knowledgeable and experienced investor on board,” Bittner said.

“In addition to capital, they will provide us with invaluable strategic insight of operating in such markets. It is also a strong testament to what we have accomplished so far and verifies that we are on the right track to achieve our aggressive strategic goals,” he added.

Lazada is largely believed to be patterned after the popular United States online shopping site Amazon.com, which failed to establish a significant foothold in fast-growing emerging markets like the Philippines.

In a statement, Kinnevik investments head Henrik Persson said Lazada’s rise to become a recognized name in e-commerce in a relatively short period led to the investment.

“We are delighted to invest in Lazada, which has obtained a market leading position,” Persson said. “The company is perfectly positioned to become the major e-commerce player in this region, which counts more than 600 million inhabitants,” he said.

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TAGS: Business, Internet, Kinnevik, Lazada, online shopping, Sweden
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