Alibaba has announced that it will invest an additional US$2 billion into Southeast Asia-based ecommerce platform Lazada, upping its total investment to US$4 billion.
The Chinese giant acquired control of Lazada in 2016 with an investment of US$1 billion before increasing its stake to 83% following an injection of another US$1 billion last year.
In addition to the funding, Alibaba said Lucy Peng, senior partner in Alibaba Partnership, currently chairman of the Lazada Group, will assume the additional role of chief executive officer. Outgoing Lazada CEO Max Bittner, a founder of the platform, will take on the role of senior advisor to Alibaba Group and assist in the transition, according to a statement
Alibaba said the additional investment is expected to further intergrate Lazada into its ecosystem and enhance the online shopping experience for people in Southeast Asia.
“With a young population, high mobile penetration and just 3% of the region’s retail sales currently conducted online, we feel very confident to double down on Southeast Asia," Peng said. "Lazada is well-positioned for the next phase of development of Internet-enabled commerce in this region, and we are excited about the incredible opportunities for supercharged growth."
Tech in Asia reported a fortnight ago that two senior Alibaba executives had joined Lazada to lead its technology team while it was hiring new positions in its Shenzhen office after closing its engineering centres in Bangkok and Moscow.