Lazada, Rocket Internet’s Amazon clone which is active in Southeast Asia, announced yesterday that it has received an investment from German retail group Tengelmann, a regular Rocket Internet investor. According to TechCrunch, the funding amount is close to USD 20M.
The e-commerce company has been raising money at a furious clip. In September last year, it received an estimated USD 50M to USD 100M from investment bank JP Morgan. This was followed by USD 40M from Swedish investment firm Kinnevik and another USD 26M from Summit Partners.
Assuming that an equity of 15-20% have been doled out to these investors in total, Lazada’s valuation could be worth more than USD 900M. The online destination currently operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Thailand. These are countries where Amazon does not have a strong presence in.
Besides books, Lazada also sells gadgets, home appliances, sports products, toys and more. As such, it is competing for market share with a number of e-commerce startups in the region.
While local entrepreneurs seem unperturbed on the surface by Rocket Internet’s show of strength, the reality is that if things go Lazada’s way, it could very well become the dominant player in a number of verticals, therefore stunting the growth of local startups.
Even if the online retail market grows significantly in Indonesia and Philippines, Lazada would be in the best position to seize on it with their outsized marketing budgets.
If the Samwer Brothers can dominate in Europe with Zalando, they could very well repeat their success in Asia.
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