Tesco leads $250 million raise for Lazada, Asia’s Amazon

In search of growth, the British retailer is leading the round of financing for the Amazon clone launched by Rocket Internet to conquer Southeast Asia.

The world’s second largest retailer, Britain’s Tesco, is entering into a “close collaboration” with the Samwer brothers by leading the $250 million round of financing for Lazada, which was spun out of their Rocket Internet incubator. Lazada is a marketplace modelled on Amazon, active in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. Access Industries, Kinnevik and Verlinvest complete the round. Rocket Internet adds that the deal also includes “consumer analytics, private label development and supply chain management”. The deal also sees Lazada launch its social CtoC shopping service Lamido in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Created only 18 months ago, Lazada had announced a $100 million round of financing just six months ago(see the article Rocket Internet raises $100 million for Lazada, dated 20/06/2013). This new round of funding brings the total invested in the e-merchant to 486 million. It also marks Tesco’s first investment in an e-commerce pure player. After two difficult years, the retailer has therefore chosen to bet on a market that is both very large and growing rapidly. The 600 million consumers in South-East Asia are now massively turning to online shopping, particularly via their smartphones.

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