Online retailer Daraz to inject $56m into three Asian markets | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 23, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:08 AM, September 23, 2015

Online retailer Daraz to inject $56m into three Asian markets

Bangladesh to get a big chunk of the fund: official

Daraz, an e-commerce giant modelled on Amazon, will inject $56 million into frontier markets in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar to boost its operations.

The three-year-old company that has investments from three German billionaire brothers will use the funds to bankroll a mega sale event on November 27, akin to Black Friday shopping binge of the US, with hundreds of deals for its clients in all three Asian markets.

A large chunk of the fund is headed to Daraz's operations in Bangladesh, which is a major and aggressively pursued focus of the company, Sumeet Singh, chairman of Daraz Bangladesh, told The Daily Star. 

The company has already partnered with major local fashion brands such as Yellow, Bata and Ecstasy, as well as tech companies -- Symphony Mobile, Butterfly and Minister. It is poised to go ahead with the sale event here as well, he added.

Daraz Bangladesh currently attracts about two million visitors a month in Bangladesh alone, according to Singh.

Daraz was the pioneer in making high-end fashion brands accessible online in Bangladesh, and gradually expanded to other products, he added.

To reach more people in a market with relatively low internet promotion, Daraz is using a wider approach including TV commercials, university events, as well as print advertisement to reach its target audience, Singh said. 

“By tapping into a global shopping phenomenon we will create a more powerful event than if we made up a new concept from scratch,” said Bjarke Mikkelsen, co-chief executive officer of Daraz, said in an interview with Bloomberg.

“It's a way of attracting many people with great deals and big marketing.” Daraz is also planning a local version of Cyber Monday, the online shopping event that follows Thanksgiving in the US, according to the Bloomberg report.

Some 20 million euros of the new funds come from the CDC Group, which is the UK government's Development Finance Institution focused on developing businesses in South Asia and Africa, and the rest from Daraz's existing investor -- Asia Pacific Internet Group.

Daraz is rapidly building an online trading infrastructure across a number of South Asia's most challenging frontier markets and CDC's investment will enable the company to continue its impressive growth, David Osborne, CDC's investment director, said in a statement. “We expect our investment to help Daraz create several thousand direct and indirect jobs over the next five years,” he added.

Daraz is a concern of Rocket Internet, headquartered in Berlin, which is a venture builder also behind Dafiti, Kaymu, Foodpanda, and HelloFresh. The billionaire Samwer brothers from Germany are behind Rocket Internet. 

Daraz is the leader in online retail in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Myanmar featuring apparel, accessories, shoes and beauty products for men and women, as well as a wide variety of electronics and general merchandise, according to its website.

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