Ooredoo Q.S.C. ("Ooredoo") - Ticker: ORDS.QA today announced a partnership with the internet incubator Rocket Internet, to jointly develop eCommerce and other digital services in Asia.
Ooredoo and Rocket Internet will become equal partners in Asia Internet Holding, a joint venture that will create and develop online businesses in the region.
eCommerce is part of Ooredoo's strategy to invest in new businesses that provide growth opportunities and develop new revenue streams. Increasing disposable income and internet penetration are key drivers for eCommerce growth in Asia and Ooredoo and Rocket are keen to benefit from this trend. Growing smartphone penetration and limited fixed line infrastructure are reinforcing mobile as the preferred medium for eCommerce in Asia, especially in Indonesia which is Asia's second largest online market just behind China – Ooredoo is present in Indonesia through Indosat which has 60 million customers.
Dr Nasser Marafih, Ooredoo Group CEO, said, "A fundamental shift is happening across our markets, as more people buy goods and services online through their mobile phones. This is even more evident in our Asian footprint. We believe that offering eCommerce services will further support our ambition of enriching people's lives. We are pleased to have entered into a partnership with Rocket and look forward to harnessing their knowledge and experience gained elsewhere into making our joint venture an eCommerce market leader across Asia."
Asia Internet Holding will cover 15 markets in Asia including Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia, with ventures ranging from online retail and marketplaces to payment services. Several successful ventures were launched over the last two years including Daraz.pk, Lamudi.com, Carmudi.com, Kaymu.com, Pricepanda.com and EasyTaxi.com.
Oliver Samwer, co-founder of Rocket Internet, commented, "We look forward to working with a partner as innovative and customer-centric as Ooredoo in Asia. Our partnership will accelerate the development of Asia Internet Holding in the region and help our businesses succeed. We feel that by bringing ecommerce models that have worked well elsewhere in the World to Asia, and that by partnering with an operator like Ooredoo, we can jointly bring better services to customers".
This investment is subject to the approval of the regulatory authorities in the countries where the service will be provided, and it is expected to be concluded in the second quarter, 2014.