Alibaba boosts presence with Daraz acquisition

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

Alibaba boosts presence in Asia with Daraz acquisition
Leading e-Commerce giant, Alibaba is developing its growth strategy in Pakistan through the purchase of online retailer, Daraz.

The Rocket-owned company, first set up in 2012, also bolsters efforts and development in Southeast Asia via its operations and strategic connections in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Looking at Southeast Asia expansion

Alibaba’s operations in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal aim to support its expansion in Southeast Asia. Its purchase of the beauty selling goods name, Daraz, is a step towards this.

No financial deals were disclosed.

Daraz is not the first rocket internet company for Alibaba to add to its acquisition list. Initially concentrating its growth efforts on the Indian market as it supported Paytm, the company the purchased Lazada in 2016, located in Southeast Asia.

Opening up financial options

In March 2018, Telenor Group and Ant Financial, which houses third-party payment platform brand Alipay, entered a strategic partnership to deliver inclusive financial services in Pakistan.

Combining Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB), a subsidiary of Telenor Group’s knowledge and local market understanding, Ant Financial announced it was set to invest $184.5m (€156 mn) for a 45% stake in TMB. This purchase was made to drive its mobile payment and digital financial services.

“Partnering with a world leading payment provider like Ant Financial will strengthen Telenor Microfinance Bank’s future payment platform and set new standards in the digital banking business in Pakistan,”​ highlighted Sigve Brekke, CEO of Telenor Group.

“The establishment of this partnership is well in-line with the expressed Telenor strategy of focusing our financial services efforts in emerging markets, making sure that we’re able to build and modernize the businesses in line with customer needs,”​ added Brekke, CEO of Telenor Group.

“Today, we are very happy to share our technology know-how with Telenor Microfinance Bank to bring improved user experience on the Easypaisa mobile payment platform, as well as provide inclusive financial services in a transparent, safe, low cost and efficient way to the unbanked and underbanked population in Pakistan,”​ stated Eric Jing, CEO, Ant Financial.

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