The leading online retailer in Asian frontier markets Daraz, 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 (Daraz.pk), Bangladesh (Daraz.com.bd) and Myanmar (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.
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
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”.