Chinese internet giant JD.com, its fintech arm JD Finance, Thailand retail conglomerate Central Group, Southeast Asian VC firm Provident Capital is set to launch two joint e-commerce and fintech ventures in Thailand, worth US$500 million.
According to an official press release, Central Group will put up half of the investment, with the rest coming from the other partners.
JD Finance will offer a host of fintech services, which covers AI and cloud computing technologies, to the fintech venture.
Meanwhile, Central Group will leverage all its physical stores, brand and merchant partnerships, and customer behaviour insights gathered from its customer loyalty card “The 1 Card” to allow its stores and brands to open up online stores on the e-commerce platform. JD.com will also lend its e-commerce and logistics resources to this platform.
“JD’s proven track record of successfully building out national online retail businesses made it the obvious choice to be our e-commerce partner,” said Tos Chirathivat, CEO of Central Group, in a press statement.
“Thailand’s mobile-driven population, with its increasing consumer spending power, means that e-commerce is ready to explode, and this partnership is poised to capture the country’s consumers as they migrate online. This move marks a key step in Central Group’s goal to become Thailand’s online retail leader,” he added.
“Thailand’s large population and developed infrastructure, including strong national logistics networks, give it tremendous potential for both e-commerce and fintech services,” said Richard Liu, JD.com’s Chairman and CEO. “Working with Thailand’s strongest retail conglomerate, with a massive shopping mall and department store network, gives us a huge competitive advantage as we expand further into Southeast Asia.”
“At this moment there’s Alibaba and Lazada and True (another conglomerate partnership with Alipay) . The partnership between JD and Central group will make Thai e-commerce a landscape much more interesting in the coming years. The one who benefit the most will be us consumers,” Natavudh Moo Pungcharoenpong, Venture Partner at 500 Startups and co-founder of Ookbee, told e27.