Rocket Internet’s Lazada lands $250m – and UK retail giant Tesco as new investor

Charmaine Li 2013-12-10 0

Rocket Internet is on a roll. Only a week after announcing a huge investment, the Berlin-based company builder has raised a $250m round for Lazada – its online shopping mall in Southeast Asia. Investors participating in this round include Tesco PLC, Access Industries, Investment AB Kinnevik and Verlinvest.

For British retail giant Tesco, it’s the first investment into a solely online player in the region and is reportedly “the starting point of close cooperation between the parties”. According to Bloomberg, Tesco CEO Philip Clarke is spending $750m this year on developing its digital presence – the latest move would fit nicely into the broader strategy.

“This investment in South East Asia’s largest eCommerce retailer continues our strategy of developing leading multichannel businesses in core growth markets,” said Tesco’s Group Mutichannel Director Robin Terrell. “Lazada is an exciting, pioneering business which has developed a market-leading offer in each of its five markets in just 18 months.”

It’s the second funding round this year for Lazada, often dubbed the “Amazon for Southeast Asia”, after it inked a $100m deal in June led by Verlinvest with participation from Holtzbrinck Ventures, Kinnevik, Summit Partners and Tengelmann Group. Currently, it operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

In a similar move to bolster its online business strategy, German retail group Rewe – best-known for its eponymous supermarket chain – took a minor stake in Rocket Internet’s online furniture retailer Home24 earlier this year.

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Image credits: featured image – flickr user Loopzilla 

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