International

Amazon, The Turkish Version?

Turkey has got itself an online retailer that seems a lot like Amazon.com, and that’s no accident.

According to CNBC, Turkish e-commerce business Hepsiburada.com openly seeks to occupy the role in that country that Jeff Bezos’ omnipresent shopping site does in the United States.

Private equity firm the Abraaj Group announced on Monday (Feb. 23) that it has purchased a minority stake in Hepsiburada, helping the burgeoning platform to expand its mobile offering, strengthen its infrastructure and relocate to a new fulfillment center. A source told CNBC that Abraaj — itself valued at $7.5 billion — took a 25 percent stake in Hepsiburada that is worth around $100 million.

The website, based in Istanbul, is owned by the Dogan family. According to Forbes, Hepsiburada patriarch Aydin Dogan — who’s made his fortune in media — is worth an estimated $1.1 billion. His daughter, Hanzade Dogan Boyner, is the chairwoman of Hepsiburada.

Abraaj’s regional head of Turkey and Central Asia Selcuk Yorgancioglu said in a statement that “Hepsiburada is the first-mover and the largest player in the online retail sector in Turkey, and is uniquely positioned to lead the expansion of e-commerce in the country.”

According to Abraaj, which is based in Dubai, Hepsiburada is the biggest e-commerce player by revenue (1 billion Turkish lira, which is equal to about $400 million) in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. The company professes to have more than 1.5 million unique customers per year and more than 14 million unique visitors per month.

CNBC states that Abraaj’s stake in Hepsiburada marks the company’s ninth investment in Turkey since 2007.

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