ISLAMABAD, May 8 — China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group acquired the entire share capital of Pakistan’s top and South Asia’s largest e-commerce platform Daraz Group, a statement said Tuesday. According to the statement released by Daraz Group, the purchase, for an undisclosed sum, will make Daraz a wholly owned component of Alibaba, operator of the popular Taobao and Tmall platforms.
“We are excited for Daraz to become a part of the Alibaba ecosystem,” said Alibaba’s Chief Executive Officer Zhang Yong, adding that “together with Daraz, we can now empower entrepreneurs to better serve consumers in the region through our technology and expertise.”
The Daraz Group, founded in Pakistan in 2012, has been operating in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Daraz Group hoped that Alibaba would help it further expand its business in the five South Asian markets that have a combined population of over 460 million, 60 percent of which are under the age of 35.
Daraz has 30,000 sellers and 500 brands on its platform, with 2 million products available to its 5 million customers with multiple payment options, including cash-on-delivery. Daraz will continue to operate under its brand name after the transaction, the statement said.
“Together with Alibaba, we are ready to empower entrepreneurs in the region to offer our customers the best selection of products with a high-level of convenience,” said Daraz Co-Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Doerr.
The acquisition comes almost two months after Alibaba bought 45 percent share in Telenor Microfinance Bank, a subsidiary of Norwegian telecom giant Telenor Group, for 184.5 million U.S. dollars to develop mobile payments and digital financial services in Pakistan.
The Alibaba group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Pakistani Ministry of Commerce last year, which paved way for the business giant to enter into the Pakistani market of over 207 million people.