E-commerce News Start-ups outside India

Daraz, A Rocket Internet Backed E-Commerce Platform For Emerging Asian Markets, Nabs $56Mn Led By UK Govt.

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Rocket Internet powered Daraz – a Amazon look alike for developing markets like Myanmar, Pakistan and Bangladesh — has received fresh round of funding from the CDC Group and Rockets own, Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG).

The UK government owned CDC group  and Rocket Internet’s regional investment group, the Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG) reportedly invested close to $ 56 million into Daraz, which tries to be the  Amazon for BangladeshPakistan and Myanmar.

The Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG) a joint venture between Rocket and Qatari telecom firm Ooredoo, which currently focuses on strengthening its regional foothold in some 14 e-commerce companies spread across 15 countries.

The e-commerce portal for the developing nations Daraz, was started in 2012 as a fashion portal by the German homegrown company, Rocket Internet in a bid to capitalize on the emerging startup sector in the Asia-Pacific region. The upstart proclaims that its the market leader in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Daraz is rapidly building an online trading infrastructure across a number of South Asia’s most challenging frontier markets,

said David Osborne, CDC’s Investment Director.

CDC’s investment will enable the company to continue its impressive growth. We expect our investment to help Daraz create several thousand direct and indirect jobs over the next 5 years, and play an important role in the professionalization and development of local retail sectors, logistics networks and technology industries.

Through this fresh round of funding, Daraz will try to strengthen its business in existing markets and for expanding its foothold in other markets in Asia. While it may obviously leave India, considering presence of Flipkart, Myntra and Rocket Internet backed Jabong, Daraz may find huge prospects in smaller Asian markets like Nepal, or other similar regions.

Taking the e-commerce business model into these exciting markets is a fascinating journey. Although internet penetration is still relatively low, the market is developing fast and its potential is immense,

said Bjarke Mikkelsen, CEO of Daraz.

“By making Daraz a success, we are not only building a great business, but also creating jobs and infrastructure in the countries we operate in – that’s what makes it so exciting.”

For Rocket Internet, this fresh funding would further help the German internet giant to pursue its long standing endeavour of penetrating into Asia. It started off on a rather good note in Asia’s second biggest market for ecommerce India, when it acquired majority stake in Jabong. However, Jabong’s increasing losses and rapidly declining customer base — further accompanied by exits of company’s founders — has eventually led the company to look for a buyer for itself.

With Daraz, even though Rocket Internet might not get a penetration into India as it has wanted, it can workaround other neighbouring markets and get a strong foothold in rest of Asia. Rocket Internet’s India strategy still remains unclear though.


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