The Nation



Array of corporates partner with SE Asian online retailer Lazada

The online shopping mall Lazada recently announced a global partnership with Tesco, US-based industrial group Access Industries, Investment AB Kinnevik, and Belgium-based Verlinvest, which includes investment of US$250 million (Bt8 billion) into Lazada's financial portfolio.

The ties with several investors enable the company to strengthen its market presence in global e-commerce, said chief executive officer Maximilian Bittner.

He said this marked the first investment by multi-channel retailer Tesco into a purely online player in Southeast Asia and the starting point of close ties. Synergies of this partnership will span across customer analytics, private label development and supply-chain management.

Since its launch, Lazada has become the leading online general merchandiser across Southeast Asia. The company says it provides a fast, convenient and secure online shopping experience combined with an extensive product offering in categories ranging from mobiles and tablets and consumer electronics to household goods, toys, fashion, and sports equipment.

Mia Brunell Livfors, CEO of Kinnevik, a Swedish investment firm, said strategic cooperation between long-term financial investors and industry partners could add significant growth momentum and enhanced profitability to e-commerce businesses.

Robin Terrell, group multi-channel director of Tesco, said this investment in Southeast Asia's largest e-commerce retailer continued the UK-based firm's strategy of developing leading multi-channel businesses in core growth markets.

He said Lazada was an exciting, pioneering business that had developed a market-leading offer in each of its five markets in just 18 months. As Southeast Asia's consumers begin to use smartphone technology to access retailers online, Lazada has established a strong position from which to grow.

Lazada has also launched Lamido in Indonesia and Vietnam to tap into the large informal e-commerce market of customer-to-customer transactions, which includes thousands of shops on social networks such as Facebook.

Lazada offers its customers multiple payment methods including cash on delivery, extensive warranty commitments and free returns. It operates in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

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