Asian Rocket Amazon Clone Lazada in $40m Funding

By Conor Rushby |

Rocket Internet‘s Asian Amazon clone Lazada has secured a $40 million investment from Swedish investment bank Kinnevik as the region continues to be a key growth market for the Berlin-based incubator. Lazada ranks alongside other Rocket regional success stories Price Panda, and Zalora, and bills itself as the fastest growing online department store in Southeast Asia.

Lazada offers goods from consumer electronics, books, and toys, while the company currently operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Kinnevik investment joins that of J.P. Morgan, rumored to be in the double digit millions, demonstrating the confidence in Rocket Internet to make strides in the fast growing Far East markets. Kinnevik, headquartered in Stockholm, is already one of Rocket’s biggest investors.

Lazada regional CEO Maximilian Bittner said: “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. 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.”

In true Rocket fashion, those goals include rapid expansion. Last month, the CEO of PricePanda – a price comparison website for electronics – Matti Rönkkö said: “The emerging markets are really happy to have us there. We had no problems at all finding partners.”

As for whether there will be cooperation with the other Rocket Internet companies out there he said: “Yes and no. We talk to each other about things like recruitment and how the market’s doing; however if they wanted their products on Pricepanda, they’ll be similar to any other market player.”

Currently Lazada has more than 1,000 employees, and with its newly-bulging pockets appears well placed to dominate the region’s online retail sector.