Alibaba doubles investment in Lazada to US$4b; Lucy Peng to take over as Lazada CEO

The latest funding brings Alibaba's total investment in Lazada to US$4 billion.
The latest funding brings Alibaba's total investment in Lazada to US$4 billion. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Alibaba Group will invest a further US$2 billion into Singapore-based e-commerce company Lazada, and Lucy Peng - one of Alibaba's 18 co-founders and current chairman of Lazada - will take over as chief executive officer (CEO) of Lazada.

Alibaba said on Monday (March 19) that this latest move is part of the group's effort to accelerate the region's e-commerce development, and will "deepen Lazada's integration into the Alibaba ecosystem".

The latest funding will double Alibaba's total investment in Lazada to US$4 billion. In 2016, Alibaba acquired control of Lazada with an investment of US$1 billion and boosted its stake to 83 per cent in 2017 with an additional investment of US$1 billion.

Ms Peng, a senior partner at Alibaba and executive chair at Ant Financial (the payments affiliate of Alibaba), said that South-east Asia is a hot spot for growth and exciting opportunities.

"With a young population, high mobile penetration and just three per cent of the region's retail sales currently conducted online, we feel very confident to double down on South east Asia. Lazada is well-positioned for the next phase of development and of Internet-enabled commerce in this region."

Lazada founder Max Bittner, who has served as CEO since 2012, will take on the role of senior advisor to Alibaba to "assist in the transition and future international growth strategy".

Lazada, founded in 2012 and incubated by Berlin-based Rocket Internet, is also backed by Temasek Holdings and Tesco.