MANILA, Philippines — Young e-Commerce venture Lazada has managed to secure fresh funding from no other than J.P. Morgan Asset Management to continue its operations in a number of Southeast Asian territories.
In a statement, Lazada said J.P. Morgan will be taking a stake at the company through its German holding company for an undisclosed amount. Reports, however, pin the value of the investment at “upwards of $50 million,” or at least P2 billion.
“We feel very honored to welcome J.P. Morgan to our investor group,” said Maximilian Bittner, regional CEO at Lazada, “and are particularly excited to be joined by an investor that shares our vision and belief in the huge potential of this populous region replicating online shopping behaviors in developed countries.”
The Lazada stake is just the latest in a string of J.P. Morgan investments into other Rocket Internet online properties, following its at least $20 million cash pump into Lamoda in Russia, $20 million into Australia’s The Iconic, and $45 million into Brazil’s Dafiti.
Launched only in the second quarter of 2012, Lazada has gained mind and market share in the five countries where it operates, namely Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
An aggressive marketing push has seen Lazada — as well as its sister site, Zalora — dominating Philippine cyberspace through massive investments in online advertising, blogger partnerships, offline billboards, and broadcast media marketing deals.
Lazada’s rise to the top of the Philippines’ e-Commerce echelon, however, was met with controversy a few weeks back after 60 personnel in the local office were summarily fired.
Lazada refused to give a statement with regard to this matter, although industry observers have noted how the mother company, Rocket Internet, has been criticized for its culture of revolving-door recruitment for senior- and mid-level managers.
Popularly known as a “clone” of other successful e-Commerce sites in the West, Lazada offers consumer electronics, household goods, toys, and sports equipment to Filipino online users, marked by a rapid and accurate delivery system.
Its mother company, incubator Rocket Internet, holds a reported 6 percent of Groupon, an online group buying site whose unsuccessful IPO last year had left the value of its share tumbling by 83 percent since debut.