Southeast Asia is a growing digital marketplace and increasingly a focus for startups across the world, but there haven’t been many exits.
So it’s notable, then, that struggling Chinese discount e-commerce service LightInTheBox has closed its acquisition of Singapore-based Ezbuy, which operates a cross-border selling service in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Pakistan.
The all-stock deal was first announced in November and it sees LightInTheBox, which operates worldwide, take 100 percent ownership of the company for $85.55 million as it bids to turn its business around.
LightInTheBox could certainly do with a boost. The company went public in 2013 with its shares priced at $9.50, but it has spent most the last few months priced less than $1. As of today, the stock is worth $0.64, having been as high as $1.35 a month ago.
The company’s Q2 results showed revenue was down by 29 percent year-on-year, with net loss for the quarter at $9.5 million, up from $1.8 million one year previous.
Indeed, that’s where the Ezbuy deal will inject new blood beyond its markets. As announced last month, Ezbuy CEO Jian He has become CEO of LightInTheBox while Meng Lian, a partner with IDG Ventures, has joined as a director. Alan Guo, LightInTheBox’s founder, stepped down from his role as CEO and chairman this past June.
Founded in 2010, Ezbuy raised just under $40 million from IDG Ventures, Sky9 Capital and others. It claims to cater to three million customers using its service, which sources product from sellers in countries like China, Taiwan, the U.S, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.
That fits with LightInTheBox’s focus on enabling cross-border commerce. With Southeast Asia’s digital economy tipped to triple in size to reach $240 billion by 2025, with e-commerce alone predicted to cross $100 billion, the company has decided to dive in headfirst.