Belgian beer families invest in Asian e-commerce

Belgian beer families invest in Asian e-commerce

A month ago Verlinvest (the investment company of the families de Mévius and de Spoelberch, owners of the Belgian beer giant AB InBev) invested in South-east Asian online shop Zalora and now it has bought a participation in Zalora’s sister company Lazada.

Biggest in Southeast Asia

Lazada claims to be the “largest online shopping mall” in Southeast Asia and is active in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia. The site sells a number of different products, going from make-up to toys, TVs and even furniture. The company is only one year old and has already processed more than one million orders.

 

Sister company Zalora describes itself as “Asia’s biggest fashion webshop”. Zalora also was founded a year and is active in the same five countries as Lazada, and also Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Zalora says it has a “double-digit million USD” turnover.

 

Both online shops were founded by Rocket Internet, the company of German brothers Alexander (38), Marc (42) and Olivier (39) Samwer, who have founded over one hundred internet start-ups, including Zalando.

 

Just like a month ago with Zalora, Verlinvest is participating in a financing round of 100 million dollar (about 77 million euro). Other investors are Summit Partners (former shareholders at Ogone), Swedish investment group AB Kinnevik and German retail group Tengelmann. How much Verlinvest is exactly investing, is not known.

 

Diversification outside world of beer

Verlinvest manages about 700 million euro of assets for the InBev families de Spoelberch and de Mévius and has been diversifying outside of the beer world for some time now.

 

It focuses mainly on three pillars: food and drinks (among others Rémy-Cointreau and American Popchips), personal care (cosmetics Legsa) and technology (e.g. digital mobile marketer Brandtone). The participations in Zalora and Lazada are part of the third pillar.

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