Swedish firm backs Lazada to expand operations in Southest Asia

Swedish investment house Kinnevik is betting big on Southeast Asia’s economic rise through an investment of $40 million in online shopping site Lazada, which is emerging as a leading player in the region’s e-commerce sector, reports Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The fresh funds would help the company further expand its already-growing reach and product line-up for its customers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Kinnevik has a proven track-record of investing in emerging markets and we are very excited to have such a knowledgeable and experienced investor on board,” Lazada’s regional CEO Maximilian Bittner said .

“In addition to capital, they will provide us with invaluable strategic insight of operating in such markets. It is also a strong testament to what we have accomplished so far and verifies that we are on the right track to achieve our aggressive strategic goals,” he added.

Lazada is largely believed to be patterned after the popular United States online shopping site Amazon.com, which failed to establish a significant foothold in fast-growing emerging markets like the Philippines.

In a statement, Kinnevik investments head Henrik Persson said Lazada’s rise to become a recognized name in e-commerce in a relatively short period led to the investment.

“We are delighted to invest in Lazada, which has obtained a market leading position,” Persson said. “The company is perfectly positioned to become the major e-commerce player in this region, which counts more than 600 million inhabitants,” he said.

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