12. March 2013–
Rocket Internet's online fashion mega mall in Asia Zalora has received €20m in investment funding from German retail giant Tengelmann Group.
Often compared to US pioneer Zappos, Zalora – launched by Rocket Internet in early 2012 – is better compared to Zalando, Rocket Internet's flagship online fashion retailer in Europe, which recently broke even for the first time in home region Germany.
Zalora currently operates in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan and offers over 20,000 products from over 500 brands. It claims to employ more than 1000 people and bring in "annualised double-digit million USD revenues". The investment announced this week follows Zalora's first foray into mobile commerce, through a mobile-optimised website.
Rocket Internet – chasing blue-chip backers
Rocket Internet, led by the polarising Oliver Samwer, is known for aggressively rolling out copycats of successful US companies such as Amazon, eBay and Zappos, especially in emerging markets.
Samwer is increasingly looking to blue-chip investors for the cash his fast-growing ventures need – Zalora, for example, is now backed by Tengelmann and JP Morgan as well as Summit Partners and Rocket Internet's principal investor AB Kinnevik.
It's not clear from the press release if today's news is part of the same deal that saw Tengelmann recently invest an "eight-digit-euro" sum in Linio (an Amazon clone in South America) and close to $20m in Lazada (an Amazon clone in Asia).
Tengelmann was already a Rocket Internet regular. The group's previous deals through venture capital arm Tengelmann Ventures include Dafiti, Lamoda, The Iconic, Zalando, Zando and Jumia, as well as a suite of other internet companies in Germany.
Singapore: flickr user cprogrammer
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