Daraz, the leading online retailer in Asian frontier markets, has secured EUR 50m (USD ~55m) in its first major financing round. The investment comes from the CDC Group – the UK Government’s Development Finance Institution (DFI) focused on supporting and developing businesses in Africa and South Asia – as well as Daraz’s existing investor Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG).
Daraz is already the leading e-commerce platform in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar (operating as shop.com.mm). The company started in Pakistan in 2012 as an online fashion business, but since then has expanded its business model to a general marketplace for quality brands within electronics, home appliances, fashion and many other categories. The funding will be used to continue to grow the business in existing markets and for expansion into other frontier markets in Asia.
“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”, says 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”.
Daraz is part of the Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG), one of the fastest growing internet platforms in the Asia-Pacific region, currently uniting 14 e-commerce companies in 15 countries.
Hanno Stegmann, CEO of APACIG, explains that Daraz is one of the most promising companies in their portfolio. “The markets where Daraz is active are inspiring for entrepreneurs. We are looking forward to supporting Daraz in its ambition to become the No. 1 shopping destination in Asian frontier markets”.
David Osborne, CDC’s Investment Director, reassures the choice of investing in the company. “Daraz is rapidly building an online trading infrastructure across a number of South Asia’s most challenging frontier markets. 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”.
Daraz is the leader in online retail in Pakistan (Daraz.pk), Bangladesh (Daraz.bd) and Myanmar (Shop.com.mm), featuring apparel, accessories, shoes and beauty products for men and women, as well as a wide variety of electronics and general merchandise. Daraz is part of the Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG) which supports some of the leading internet companies in the region. Founded by Rocket Internet in 2014, APACIG’s mission is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Asia and the Pacific and to support the development of a vibrant online culture.
CDC is the UK government-owned development finance institution that uses its own balance sheet to invest in the developing countries of Africa and South Asia. CDC’s mission is to support the building of businesses throughout Africa and South Asia that create jobs and make a lasting difference to people’s lives in some of the world’s poorest places.
CDC provides capital in all its forms, including equity, debt, mezzanine and guarantees, and this capital is typically used to fund growth. This capital is provided directly and through fund managers that are aligned with its aims. It has net assets of £3.4bn.
The Asia Pacific Internet Group (www.apacig.com) is a joint venture of Rocket Internet and Ooredoo. The group’s network consists of 14 e-commerce and online marketplace companies, operating across 15 countries. Since it was founded in 2014, APACIG has become the leading online platform in Asia, building top internet companies in the region.