Southeast Asia ecommerce giant Lazada is buying online grocery service Redmart for $30-40million, according to reports.
The companies said they hope to use each other’s infrastructure to boost their ecommerce business in Southeast Asia but will leave Redmart to operate independently, with a transaction slated to close this quarter.
Maximilian Bittner, CEO of Lazada Group, said: “As part of our growth strategy, we are always looking for ways to serve our customers better by adding new product categories and improving our service offering. RedMart’s strong management team and their relentless focus on putting the customer first has resulted in customers loving them in Singapore."
Lazada sold a controlling stake to Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba earlier this year, adding Redmart into the fold gives Alibaba an even stronger foothold in Southeast Asia.
This foothold could be challenged by Amazon, which is reportedly eyeing up a Southeast Asia launch.
According to Techcrunch, Amazon is to launch in Singapore in Q1 of 2017 and has been building up a team and assets, such as refrigerated trucks. It is likely to launch both Prime and online grocery service AmazonFresh, according to the report.
Amazon and Alibaba compete across a number of their products but Southeast Asia, which has potential for huge ecommerce growth, looks set to be the battleground where the two really go head to head.