Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has invested USD206m in USShopRunner in a bid to tighten its competition with US heavyweight Amazon.com. As part of the deal, eBay has sold its 30% stake in the company for a profit. Alibaba had invested about USD70m in the round, but reportedly upped the offer, resulting in the company now being valued at around USD600m.
Whilst relatively small in comparison to Amazon, the investment gives Alibaba a foothold in a market significantly dominated by Amazon. Moreover, the news comes at a time when the Chinese e-commerce giant is reported to be exploring the possibility of going public in the US.
“Alibaba and American Express recognize ShopRunner as a disruptive model which will have a significant role in the U.S. e-commerce market,” Shoprunner CEO Scott Thompson said in a statement. “This funding will help accelerate ShopRunner’s growth and enable us to continue to build great online shopping experiences for our members.”
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