Alibaba Group announced that it will invest an additional US$2 billion in Lazada to accelerate the growth plans of Southeast Asia’s largest ecommerce platform and deepen its integration into the Alibaba ecosystem.
Including this new capital for expansion, Alibaba will have invested a total of US$4 billion in Lazada, which operates online marketplaces in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Alibaba acquired control of Lazada in 2016 with an investment of US$1 billion and further increased its stake to 83 per cent with another US$1 billion investment in 2017.
The investment is expected to deepen Lazada’s integration into the Alibaba ecosystem, which will enable Lazada to tap into Alibaba’s resources to further serve consumers and empower merchants in Southeast Asia in innovative ways.
Together with Alibaba’s additional commitment in capital and resources, the board of directors of Lazada has approved a management transition. Lucy Peng, who currently serves as Lazada’s Chairman, will assume the additional role of CEO to drive Lazada’s growth strategies.
Peng is one of Alibaba’s 18 founders and a senior partner in the Alibaba Partnership. Lazada founder Max Bittner, who had been its CEO since 2012, will assume the role of senior advisor to Alibaba Group and assist in the transition and future international growth strategies.
“With a young population, high mobile penetration and just 3 per cent of the region’s retail sales currently conducted online, we feel very confident to double down on Southeast Asia. Lazada is well-positioned for the next phase of development of Internet-enabled commerce in this region, and we are excited about the incredible opportunities for super-charged growth,” said Peng.