Lazada borrows form the Alibaba playbook as it moves to offer businesses more financial services
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Lazada borrows form the Alibaba playbook as it moves to offer businesses more financial services

Online merchant Lazada, the Alibaba-owned e-tail expert that’s looking to dominate the South East Asian market, is borrowing from its owner’s playbook by offering businesses on its platform access to more financial services. The company, which is based in Singapore and services countries like Thailand and Indonesia, offers sellers a way into those markets. And now, CEO Pierre Poignant says that financial services could be a big part of its future.

Alibaba’s share price has risen by 28% so far this year

29 03 lazada

Source: Yahoo Finance

Speaking to CNBC at the Boao Forum in China, Poignant said: “The next steps are financing, more rewards to our wallets, so we will continue to invest in that direction. Through our data, we will be able more precisely assess the loans. So I think, in a way, the future is to be more efficient, faster and bigger, that's one part. Second part (is), we will venture in other parts of financing. For example, something which is very, I think, promising, is trade financing across countries which we will also look into.”

Lazada’s imminent foray into financial services mirrors that of its parent company, Alibaba, which owns mobile payments system Alipay, operated by affiliate Ant Financial. It also offers customers a range of other products, including “micro-loans”. Looking to this future, Poignant adds: “We have the data to understand both origin and local, so we can basically have a very accurate prediction of the demand and the supply chain, and therefore, we are able to provide super products when it comes to financing,”

He also spoke about the future more generally, saying: “"I think, as part of the Alibaba economy, the vision of the group is to have an economy of 2 billion people,” serviced by “millions” of small-to-medium-sized companies.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Alibaba in its Global Trends Managed Fund.


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