Russia's Ozon Targets Expansion Following Funding Boost
Russian e-commerce firm Ozon plans to expand its fulfilment centres, grow its last-mile infrastructure and unveil a new range of products and services following the announcement that it has raised $150 million (€137 million) in its latest round of financing.
The firm raised $50 million from Princeville Capital, a US-based investment firm, it said, as well as $100 million from existing investors – funds advised by Baring Vostok Capital Partners and Sistema PJSFC.
The company said that the latest round of financing was secured as a convertible loan that can be turned into equity, adding that the financing will support its plans to significantly expand its logistics and technology infrastructure.
Ozon plans to open at least five new fulfilment hubs in Russia’s regions and grow its last mile logistics network at least threefold in 2020-2021, it said.
“I’m pleased that this round of funding has underscored the support we enjoy from our existing investors, as well as a new and trusted partner in the US," commented Alexander Shulgin, Ozon's chief executive.
"As a leading e-commerce platform growing three times faster than the market, we place our customers – both consumers and marketplace sellers – at the centre of all that we do, including tech innovations and infrastructure development.
"The funding we have raised will allow us to boost the pace and depth of innovation within our company and enhance our commitment to the people we serve across the vast Russian territory.”
Ozon raised $250 million in funding in 2019, which has been invested in logistics and tech innovation, the company said.
Last year, the business launched a new tech platform for marketplace sellers, which offers SMEs a more streamlined experience on the Ozon marketplace.
By the end of last year, it had expanded to 16,651 unique locations across Russia, enabling around 50% of Russian consumers to get orders from the platform within 48 hours. It also became the operator of the single largest parcel locker chain in Russia, with 6,897 automated delivery pick-up points.
“As a global technology-focused fund, we look for opportunities around the world," commented Emmanuel DeSousa, managing partner at Princeville Capital, who has joined Ozon's board as a result of the funding agreement.
"The Russian e-commerce market is experiencing significant growth driven by the increasing penetration of online sales in an under-developed physical retail market, as well as improving logistics infrastructure. We believe that Ozon is at the forefront of capturing that growth.”
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