Alibaba takes stake in US e-tailer Zulily

Alibaba Group has built a cornerstone stake in US online retailer Zulily.

The acquisition has been progressively built over time with its latest parcel of shares last week costing it US$56.2 million. To date, China’s largest eCommerce player has invested about $150 million to acquire almost 10 per cent of the business.

Zulily, which listed in November 2013, is a Seattle-based online retailer of clothing and homewares, (an example of which, taken from its Facebook page, is pictured above).

The investment was revealed in regulatory filings – to date, Alibaba has not formally announced its last parcel purchase.

Having listed on the New York Stock Exchange last September, raising US$25.02 billion, Alibaba is keen to build a business seen to be diversified outside Mainland China, especially in the US given its Wall Street listing.

The purchase is also giving Alibaba much needed intelligence and understanding of the US online market.

The latest purchase follows a $15 million investment in a New York-headquartered luxury eCommerce website 1stdibs, and the launch of its own wholly-owned online store 11 Main. It also has a stake in ShopRunner, a shipping service for online retailers.

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