CDC Group plc, the UK’s development finance institution, announced today that it is making a €20m investment into Daraz, an online marketplace operating in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Daraz enables its customers to buy clothing, electronic goods and other merchandise online from both local suppliers and international brands. CDC’s equity investment comes as Daraz undertakes its first major financing round since the company was launched in Pakistan in 2012.
As millions more consumers in South Asia become connected to the internet, Daraz is well-positioned to establish itself as a leading operator in what is currently an unserved market.
The Daraz platform provides hundreds of local manufacturers with access to 6 million visitors it currently attracts a month. The company’s continued growth will lead to further direct jobs as well as creating many more thousands of jobs throughout its supply chain and onward distribution network. Expansion will also create new sales opportunities for local businesses by providing quick and efficient access to the nascent ecommerce marketplace in the three countries.
“Daraz is rapidly building an online trading infrastructure across a number of South Asia’s most challenging frontier markets. 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 five years, and play an important role in the professionalisation and development of local retail sectors, logistics networks and technology industries.”
Daraz’s existing investor, Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG), invested alongside CDC in a total financing round of €50m. The capital will help to drive the growth of the business and enable development of supply chain infrastructure and improved information technology, creating the potential to connect millions of customers with thousands of small suppliers. CDC will work with Daraz to introduce a new Code of Conduct for suppliers, which will set standards and assure the adoption of workers’ rights.