Max Chafkin Biography & Facts
Lazada Group is an international e-commerce company founded by Maximilian Bittner, Mads Faurholt, Stefan Bruun, and Raphael Strauch with the backing of Rocket Internet in 2012, and owned by Alibaba Group. In 2014, Lazada Group operated sites in multiple countries and had raised approximately US$647 million over several investment rounds from its investors such as Tesco, Temasek Holdings, Summit Partners, JPMorgan Chase, Investment AB Kinnevik and Rocket Internet.
Its sites launched in March 2012, with a business model of selling inventory to customers from its own warehouses. In 2013 it added a marketplace model that allowed third-party retailers to sell their products through Lazada's site; the marketplace accounted for 65% of its sales by the end of 2014.
In April 2016, Alibaba Group bought controlling stake in Lazada to support Alibaba's international expansion plans.In September 9 2018, Lazmall was launched on the platform to encourage purchase from 100% authentic brands. Extra services like 15 days return policy and also next day delivery was put in place.In August 2018, Lazada is the largest e-commerce operator in Southeast Asia based on average monthly web visits.In September 2019, Lazada claimed it was the top e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia with more than 50 million active buyers annually.
Lazada Group was founded in 2012 by Maximilian Bittner with the backing of Rocket Internet with the intention of establishing the Amazon.com business model in Southeast Asia to take advantage of the nascent online consumer market and Amazon's weak presence there; Rocket is a German incubator that builds companies that copy the business models of successful US tech companies in emerging markets. Lazada's e-commerce websites soft launched in 2012. It raised four rounds of funding in 2012 and early 2013: JP Morgan invested an undisclosed amount in September, Swedish investment firm Kinnevik invested $40 million in November, American private equity firm Summit Partners invested $26 million in December, and Tengelmann invested about $20 million in January 2013. It also added a 2-day guaranteed delivery services, addressing one of the most common complaints about Lazada's service, and one of its biggest challenges, which it had attempted to address by making a "massive, incalculable investment" in warehouses and delivery services.In June 2013, Lazada announced it had raised an additional $100 million, and it launched mobile applications for Android and iOS devices. In December 2013, it raised an additional $250 million from Tesco PLC, Access Industries, and other existing investors.In May 2014, Lazada launched in Singapore.In November 2014, Temasek Holdings in Singapore led a funding round of $250 million, bringing the total Lazada had raised to approximately $647 million. Also that month, Lazada announced that its marketplace platform accounted for more than 65% of its overall sales, and that the number of third-party sellers on the platform had increased from ~500 in November 2013, to close to 10,000 in December 2014. The number of employees across the region reached approximately 4,000.For 2014, Lazada's net operating losses were $152.5 million on net revenues of $154.3 million. However, its percentage of losses relative to its Gross Merchandise Volume - the value of all the products sold through the site - was smaller in 2014 than in 2013 due to growth in its GMV from $95 million in 2013 to $384 million in 2014, driven by marketplace sales.In 2015, Lazada's challenges for growth were the preference for brick and mortar shopping among customers, with just about 1% of people buying online compared to 10% of International shoppers; the lack of credit cards and the concomitant requirement to arrange cash on delivery systems, reliable delivery especially in rural regions, and the threat of competition from Amazon and Alibaba.In March 2016, Lazada claimed it recorded a total of $1.36 billion in annual GMV across its six markets in Southeast Asia, making it the largest e-commerce player.In April 2016, Alibaba Group announced that it intended to acquire a controlling interest in Lazada by paying $500 million for new shares and buying $500M worth of shares from existing investors. The British supermarket company Tesco confirmed the sale of 8.6% of its holding in Lazada to Alibaba for $129 million. Alibaba gave the following reasons for its investment: the market in South-East Asia has growing middle-class income populations, estimated at that time to be around 190 million people in the region with a disposable income of $16-$100 a day, and this was expected to grow to 400 million people in 2020.In June 2017, Alibaba Group increased its investment in Lazada by an additional $1 billion, raising its stake from 51% to 83%. Alibaba invested another $2 billion into Lazada in March 2018, and founder Max Bittner was replaced as CEO by Alibaba executive Lucy Peng.In September 2018, Lazmall was launched on the platform to encourage purchase from 100% authentic brands. Extra services like 15 days return policy and also next day delivery was put in place.In December 2018, Peng was replaced by Pierre Poignant as CEO of Lazada, with Peng taking the role of executive chairwoman.In December 2019, Lazada partnered up with Citibank to launch a new credit card in Singapore, and then various countries later then.
In June 2020, Pierre Poignant was replaced by Chun Li as CEO of Lazada.
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