Lazada secures US$100mil in funding, launches mobile app
By Digital News Asia June 20, 2013
- Belgian Verlinvest invests in SEA shopping mall
- Bulk of fresh funds to be used to optimize its fulfilment infrastructure
ONLINE shopping mall Lazada has announced it has secured a new investor, Verlinvest, a Belgian family-owned, consumer-focused investment holding company.
“We are thrilled to join Lazada as a partner of Rocket Internet and an investor, the company’s scale and achievements after only one year of operations are highly impressive," said Frédéric de Mevius, chairman of Verlinvest.
"Given the management’s track record and the region’s macro outlook, we are very confident in Lazada's future,” he said in a statement issued by Lazada.
Existing investors Holtzbrinck Ventures, Kinnevik, Summit Partners and Tengelmann Group also participated in the financing round that injected about US$100 million of fresh capital into Lazada’s German holding company, Rocket Internet.
"We are extremely happy to have finalised this investment round shortly after our first year anniversary and to again focus 100% of our attention on what we enjoy most: Providing an amazing shopping experience to our customers,” said Maximilian Bittner, CEO of Lazada, adding that interest in joining this funding round and its quick closing had exceeded all the company’s expectations.
According to a report by Jeremy Wagstaff for Reuters, it was Lazada's largest single round of funding to date and follows smaller injections earlier this year and late last year.
The Reuters report noted that Lazada's biggest competitors are mostly local players but it is likely to face a significant challenge from Amazon.com Inc , which has stepped up its activities in the region.
Earlier this month Amazon announced it would ship some items from the United States to Singapore and India for free. Amazon offered similar services in Europe in late 2010.
This the second Rocket Internet company that has received heavy investment from European parties, with another shopping platform Zalora also disclosing a US$100 million fund injection in May of this year.
Lazada was launched in early 2012 offering consumer electronics, household goods, toys and sports equipment to emerging markets in South-East Asia. It recently surpassed one million orders and has always claimed the customer experience as its main point of focus and invests heavily to provide superior services to its customers.
According to Lazada, this focus has resulted in a highly streamlined fulfilment process where currently 90% of all orders are shipped the same day and 85% of orders in metro areas are delivered within the next day.
However, to further improve delivery time and increase customer satisfaction the company will use a large part of the freshly injected capital to optimise its fulfilment infrastructure in the near future.
At the same time Lazada also announced the launch of its new mobile application which it claimed provides customers with a fast and intuitive shopping experience using a smartphone. The application is currently available for Android users and an iPhone version is soon to come.
“We are very excited to launch this mobile shopping platform that provides additional convenience to our customers, allowing them to shop anywhere at any time,” said Lazada chief marketing officer Stein Jakob Oeie.
“Mobile commerce is representing more than 10% of eCommerce in the US and we expect this to develop even faster in South-East Asia where many users only have access to the Internet through smartphones,” he added.