China’s Alibaba has invested some USD 845 million into its Southeast Asian e-commerce unit Lazada, as the e-commerce giant looks to make further inroads in the region.
The capital injection, announced via a regulatory filing in Singapore on July 19, brings Alibaba’s total investment in Lazada to several billion dollars, since it acquired the business in 2016 from Rocket Internet.
In the past, Alibaba has explored spinning off Lazada, and in 2022, discussed raising at least USD 1 billion for Lazada before calling off negotiations with potential investors, due to discrepancies in the valuation of the firm.
The announcement comes as social media and e-commerce rivals TikTok and Shopee look to also further expand their customer base in the burgeoning Southeast Asian e-commerce market.
In 2022, the e-commerce market in Southeast Asia amounted to approximately USD 131 billion, according to Statist.
This is forecasted to increase significantly by 2025, in which the e-commerce market in Southeast Asia is expected to be worth some USD 211 billion.
Online marketplace Lazada is present in six markets including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and boasts some 60 million active users and more than one million active sellers every month.
In 2022, Lazada launched a Halal Store in its app to cater to the Malay community.