China's biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group, today announced the acquisition of a Pakistan-based eCommerce platform, Daraz Group which is backed by Rocket Internet. This is the first ever investment by Alibaba in Pakistan. Financial details of the transaction are still undisclosed by both the companies.
With this acquisition, Daraz will be able to leverage Alibaba’s leadership and experience in technology, online commerce, mobile payment and logistics to drive further growth in the five South Asian markets - Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal - serving a combined population of over 460 million, 60% of which are under the age of 35.
Founded in Pakistan in 2012, Daraz will continue to operate under the same brand post the acquisition. It had raised $55 million in series A funding in September 2015 from Rocket Internet.
The Jack Ma-led Chinese Internet conglomerate has been for some time trying to enter the Pakistani market and had been in talks with Daraz since earlier this year.
This deal marks another foray for Hangzhou-headquartered company into the South Asian market. In 2015, it invested in India's popular payment app Paytm.
Alibaba is also gearing up to deploy about $8 billion over the next four years in India across sectors such as entertainment, enterprise and payments.