China’s e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group, has entered the Pakistani retail market by fully acquiring Daraz, an online retail subsidiary of Germany-based Rocket Internet.
The announcement was made through separate press statements released by both companies on Tuesday.
“With the 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 five South Asian markets that have a combined population of over 460 million, 60 percent of which are under the age of 35,” said the press release issued by Daraz.
The statement quoted Daraz chief executive officers (CEOs) Bjarke Mikkelsen and Jonathan Doerr as saying that there was still a long way to go for the group on the e-commerce journey. “We have still only scratched the surface of the potential,” they said.
Daraz would continue to operate under the same brand name.
The company was founded in Pakistan in 2012, but has since then expanded to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal as well.
In a separate statement, Daniel Zhang, the CEO of the Alibaba Group, said, “Together with Daraz, we can now empower entrepreneurs to better serve consumers in the region through our technology and expertise. In Daraz, we found a great team that espouses our values and believes that a technology-enabled commerce ecosystem will play a critical role in driving the long term economic development in South Asia.”
Reports about negotiations between Alibaba Group and Daraz for an acquisition had first started circulating in March this year.
Earlier in 2017, the Alibaba Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce under which it agreed to facilitate through its platforms exports of goods produced by Pakistani small and medium enterprises.