What happened: Alibaba-owned e-commerce company Lazada Group is looking to offer more financial services products to businesses in a bid to gain a competitive edge in Southeast Asia’s online retail market, said Pierre Poignant, CEO of Lazada.
“The next steps are financing, more rewards to our wallets, so we will continue to invest in that direction,” said Poignant. The company will venture into other parts of financing like trade financing across countries, which, according to Poignant, “could be a multi-billion dollar opportunity for Lazada.” The firm is also looking to leverage big data to optimize its business processes such as loan assessment. The company celebrated its seventh anniversary on Tuesday.
Why it’s important: Singapore-based Lazada hosts a platform that allows merchants to sell into Southeast Asian countries including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Lazada’s push into financial services and financing mirrors parent Alibaba, which has become one of the largest financial service providers in China through its fintech arm Ant Financial and payment app Alipay.