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Zalora invests $112m to boost e-fashion business

ZALORA GROUP, an online fashion and beauty-products store, is pouring US$112 million (Bt3.6 billion) into its e-fashion business on expectations of high growth of this sector in Southeast Asia.

In a statement, the company said it had secured fresh capital from privately held investor group Access Industries, funds managed by US-based asset-management firm Scopia Capital Management, and other institutional investors.

To the company, this new round of funding signals investors' strong confidence in the online retailer after a period of accelerated growth.

Since its inception last year, Zalora has grown to be Southeast Asia's leading online fashion and beauty retailer, offering more than 130,000 products and more than 500 international brands.

"Zalora's experienced management team has put the company on a path to become a premier online fashion destination. We are pleased to be part of this dynamic success story," said Joerg Mohaupt, Zalora board member from Access Industries.

Most recently, Zalora launched its first private brand, Ezra, and focused on extending its assortment to offer a broad variety of fashion and beauty items.

The company operates in eight countries and has attracted customers with its large selection of top international fashion and beauty brands that were previously only available in capital cities.

"The investment allows us to continue building out our position as the leading fashion and beauty e-commerce retailer in Southeast Asia," said Michele Ferrario, managing director of the Zalora Group.

"We are focused on offering the best possible customer experience paired with a unique product offering of local and international brands. We will use this new investment to improve our position as the high-street fashion authority in Southeast Asia.

"We will grow our assortment and further enhance the portfolio of our private labels. Our goal is to continue serving up world-class products and services so everyone in Southeast Asia can benefit from the wide selection of products at Zalora."

Patrick Schmidt, chief executive of Australian clothing retailer The Iconic, added: "Zalora Group and The Iconic already have come a long way. In Australia we are approaching 1 million orders being shipped thanks to a fantastic local and international brand assortment and premium services such as three-hour delivery in Sydney. This investment will allow us to continue to build the one-stop online shopping destination for fashion, footwear and beyond through a singular focus on customer satisfaction."

Zalora says the new capital will support the group's efforts to scale up operations and gain an even stronger foothold throughout Southeast Asia and Australia, serving 600 million potential online shopping customers in the region.

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