Rocket Internet-backed Zalora and The Iconic nabs USD112 million in funding

By Rizza Sta. Ana

Dec 03, 2013 09:20 AM EST

Asian Pacific-focused online fashion retailers Zalora and The Iconic received USD112 million in new investment in a recent funding round. German startup accelerator Rocket Internet, who backed both online fashion retailers, said the new funding was the biggest single investment made for an e-commerce site in the region. The investment record also broke Zalora's previous investment of USD100 million received six months ago.

According to Rocket Internet, the funding would be geared towards the growth of both businesses, as it will be targeting some 600 million in potential customers in the region. The region, TechCrunch pointed out, included Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines for Zalora, and New Zealand and Australia for the Iconic.

Zalora Group Managing Director Michele Ferrario said in a statement, "The investment allows us to continue building out our position as the leading fashion and beauty e-commerce retailer in Southeast Asia. We are focused on offering the best possible customer experience paired with a unique product offering of local and international brands. We will use this new investment to improve our position as the high-street fashion authority in Southeast Asia. We will grow our assortment and further enhance the portfolio of our private labels. Our goal is to continue serving up world-class products and services, so everyone in South-East Asia can benefit from the wide selection of products at ZALORA."

The funding round was led by Access Industries, with participation from institutional investors including Scopia Capital Management LLC. Rocket Internet confirmed to TechCrunch that the USD112 million investment was a separate one from the USD500 million funding the accelerator closed earlier this year.

TechCrunch's report pointed out how private equity firms are looking into investing in e-commerce in emerging markets. The report said investment players are looking into new markets to tap into the next yet-to-be-owned online customers. As Rocket Internet chief Oliver Samwer said when the company announced its massive USD500 million fund, "If you look at the most successful mobile carriers, it's the ones who have moved into emerging markets. In Brazil, for example, the growth as well as the margins for mobile carriers are higher than they are in Europe, so that complexity is rewarded," he said, pointing to the size of the future. "People often refer to all these emerging markets as the ‘rest of the world,' but we're talking about 5 billion people here."

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