Following a string of fund-raising and a push into mobile last year, Zalora, the Southeast Asia-focused online beauty and fashion store started in 2012 by Germany-based startup accelerator Rocket Internet, is now taking a different approach as it seeks to capture more customers by giving them additional choices.
The company announced it will be launching Zalora Marketplace in the first half of this year, which will help boost the variety of fashion products available on its site — and could persuade more consumers to part with their money.
The marketplace model means vendors from all over Southeast Asia and Hong Kong get to create their own branded digital storefront on the Zalora site, which will be run personally by them with support from a Zalora account manager. They also get free online marketing and advertising when Zalora runs its marketing campaigns. Zalora is currently sourcing for sellers.
Last year, Zalora raised a huge funding round of $100 million from regular Rocket co-investors Summit Partners, Kinnevik and Tengelmann Group, along with Verlinvest — and it seems like we will see more aggressive marketing, as well as different business approaches this year as it invests this cash into its business.
The fashion site says it has over 15 million visits per month to its site — but it isn’t known exactly how many of these visitors spend money to purchase its products.
It was revealed last year that Zalora had a net negative income of almost EUR70 million (circa $91 million) in 2012, though the company has continuously said it is in the process of building its brand and aims to be profitable by 2015.. This means that 2014 is a crucial year for the fashion store.
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