Photo: Reuters/Aly Song

E-commerce firm Lazada, which currently serves six countries in Southeast Asia, has agreed to a US$1 billion deal to up Alibaba’s stake in the company to 83%, from 51% previously.

“That [valuation] is quite a significant uptick and overall that reflects the great performance and traction that Lazada has seen. It also reflects that Alibaba continues to be extremely positive about this region, doubling down on Southeast Asia and seeing the potential,” Max Bittner, CEO of Lazada told TechCrunch.

With the Southeast Asian e-commerce market forecast to balloon to US$88 billion per year in 2025 from US$5.5 billion in 2015, Alibaba looks poised to seize a sizable slice of that pie.

“The e-commerce markets in the region are still relatively untapped, and we see a very positive upward trajectory ahead of us. We will continue to put our resources to work in Southeast Asia through Lazada to capture these growth opportunities,” Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, said in a statement.

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