The CDC Group, the UK government’s development finance institution, has led a $55m investment round in Daraz, an online retailer in Asian frontier markets.
Daraz is part of the Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG) which supports some of the leading internet companies in the region and it was founded by Rocket Internet in 2014.
The company originally started out as an online fashion business, but it soon expanded its business model to a general marketplace for brands within electronics, home appliances, fashion.
The company is popular in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and the funding will be used to continue to grow the business in existing markets and for expansion into other frontier markets in Asia.
“Taking the e-commerce business model into these exciting markets is a fascinating journey. Although internet penetration is still relatively low, the market is developing fast and its potential is immense,” says Bjarke Mikkelsen, CEO of Daraz.
David Osborne, CDC’s Investment Director said that the investment was a prudent one as the company is building a strong online trading infrastructure across several South Asian countries.
“CDC’s investment will enable the company to continue its impressive growth. We expect our investment to help Daraz create several thousand direct and indirect jobs over the next 5 years, and play an important role in the professionalization and development of local retail sectors, logistics networks and technology industries,” he added.
Since 2012, the CDC Group has made over 400 investments in the South Asia region. It says its mission is to help build businesses throughout Africa and South Asia, to create jobs and make a lasting difference to people’s lives in some of the world’s poorest places.
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