Kinnevik sinks $40m into Rocket Internet’s “Amazon for Asia” Lazada

Nina Fowler 2012-11-12 7

Lazada

Swedish bank Kinnevik is investing a fresh US$40m into Rocket Internet’s online super-mall Lazada, as part of a total US$1b spent so far on Rocket Internet and portfolio companies.

Lazada, active in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, and described by tech press at launch as an “Amazon clone in Asia”, recently added fashion to its repertoire of consumer electronics, household goods, toys and sports equipment. Today’s confirmation follows news of a double-digit million funding round from JP Morgan for Lazada in September.

“We are delighted to invest in Lazada, which has obtained a market leading position in a very short time” Kinnevik head of investments Henrik Persson said in a press release today. “The company is perfectly positioned to become the major eCommerce player in this region, which counts more than 600 million inhabitants”.

The new funding also follows reports in the Philippine Daily Inquirer of mass layoffs in September. “I cannot comment on HR specifics but we have created a significant number of jobs in the region since we entered the market and some turnover is just natural for a company growing at such a rapid pace,” Lazada press spokesperson Stein Jakob Oeie told VentureVillage via email.

Other Rocket Internet portfolio companies in southeast Asia include Zalora, Foodpanda, Pricepanda and OfficeFab.

Kinnevik – now up to $1b investment in Rocket Internet

Kinnevik is Rocket Internet’s main investor and holds 25 per cent of the Berlin-headquartered company builder, according to its Q3 2012 financial report. So far this year, Kinnveik has invested SEK 4,153m (€483.8m) into Rocket Internet and portfolio companies. That includes €287m into flagship fashion retailer Zalando in October, in exchange for an extra 10 per cent stake in the company at a valuation of €2.8b.

All up, according to a slide in Kinnevik’s financial presentation for Q3 2012 (pictured below), that brings total investment in Rocket Internet, its holding companies Bigfoot and Bigfoot II, and Zalando to SEK 7,271m (€847.1m or close to US$1.1b).

Kinnevik Rocket summary Oct 2012

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