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Pakistan

Web Desk
May 8, 2018
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Alibaba Group enters Pakistan's ecommerce market with Daraz acquisition

FRANKFURT: Alibaba Group has bought the entire share capital of Rocket Internet’s South Asian ecommerce platform Daraz Group, Rocket Internet said on Tuesday.

It did not disclose financial details.

Daraz, founded in Pakistan in 2012, operates online marketplaces in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The unit will continue to operate under the same brand following the sale to Alibaba, Rocket said.

It is not for the first time that Chinese ecommerce giant is entering into Pakistani market as some media reports say.

In March, Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of Alibaba, acquired 45 percent stake worth around Rs20 billion in a subsidiary of Norwegian Telenor to broaden access to financial services through digital payment solutions in Pakistan.

“Telenor Group has reached a strategic partnership agreement with Ant Financial Services Group in Pakistan, where Ant Financial will invest $184.5m for a 45 percent stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB), a subsidiary of Telenor Group, to further develop TMB’s mobile payment and digital financial services,” a statement said.

It remains to be seen when the Rocket Internet deal terms are announced, what if any forex impact, it will have by way of any of the transaction value landing on our shores.

“The sale of Daraz to Alibaba is another testament to Rocket Internet´s ability to successfully scale and exit market-leading companies”, said Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet. “Leading technology and a strong logistics network have helped creating one of the fastest growing companies in the region. The acquisition by Alibaba is a tremendous success for the entire team working at Daraz.” 

“We are excited for Daraz to become a part of the Alibaba ecosystem,” said Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang. “Together with Daraz, we can now empower entrepreneurs to better serve consumers in the region through our technology and expertise.”

Zhang said the Daraz team is a natural fit, sharing Alibaba’s values and beliefs that long-term economic development in the region will depend on a technology-enabled commerce ecosystem.

“Together with Alibaba, we are ready to empower entrepreneurs in the region and to fulfill our promise to offer our customers the best selection of products with a high-level of convenience,” said Daraz Co-CEO Jonathan Doerr.

Daraz said its acquisition by Alibaba would help drive further growth in its key markets, home to 460 million people, 60% of them under the age of 35.

“With hard work and dedication, we have started the e-commerce journey in our markets, but we have still only scratched the surface of the potential,” said Daraz Co-CEO Bjarke Mikkelsen.

Daraz will continue to operate under its brand name after the transaction. (Reuters/Web Desk)

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