International

Amazon Competitor Raises $250M

Rocket Internet’s Lazada has raised a whopping €200 million -- almost $250 million -- that it will use to nail down its position as a dominant force in ecommerce in Southeast Asia, according to VentureBeat.

Lazada calls itself Southeast Asia’s “largest online shopping mall,” which means it’s very similar to online retailer Amazon -- but in a market that’s still growing like crazy, and includes Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. Lazada sells electronics, apparel, cosmetics and books, and offers free shipping on many items, free returns within 14 days, and other Amazon-like features.

The new funding, which the company says will be used to expand and improve Lazada's logistics infrastructure, payment solutions and IT systems, was led by Singapore investment company Temasek, with participation from Rocket Internet, Investment AB Kinnevik, and Verlinvest, and values Lazada at about €1 billion. The new round follows another $250 million round last December that included U.K. grocer Tesco and Access Industries.

Lazada was founded by the Samwer brothers' incubator firm, Rocket Internet. With the new funding (including another $19 million from Rocket), Rocket's stake in Lazada drops to 23.8 percent.

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