British International Investment

South AsiaConsumer - other services

Daraz is the leading online marketplace across Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal. It is a pioneer of online retail in a market collectively covering about 500 million people.

The company connects buyers and sellers across a wide assortment of categories from books to consumer electronics, and from fashion to general merchandise.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

CDC made an equity investment in Daraz, alongside a €30 million investment from its existing majority shareholder, Asia Internet Holdings.

The investment formed part of our thesis that in frontier markets the formal retail and trading infrastructure will be built online first, potentially ‘leapfrogging’ the need to build large-scale bricks and mortar retail sectors.

In April 2018, the business was sold to Alibaba Group, China’s largest ecommerce conglomerate, marking CDC’s third equity investment exit.

Expected impact

Expected impact of investments made between 2012 and 2018. From 2019 onwards, we have published a fuller set of impact information, assessing each investment against six dimensions of impact.

Ecommerce platforms provide opportunities for small traders and sellers to find routes to markets and customers that they would otherwise be unable to reach. Ecommerce companies also play a part in improving the efficiency of local trading infrastructure and logistics networks.

Since our investment, the number of active small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and merchants on the platform has grown by more than 13 times. Daraz has connected approximately 6,000 active vendors with over 1.3 million customers. The company has created thousands of new jobs in both those businesses and among the local supply chain.

Daraz established a programme that moves SMEs through a tiered selling system which progressively unlocks benefits, such as larger order numbers, if they comply with certain best practices, such as labour standards or corporate governance.

Our investment has enabled Daraz to make significant progress towards becoming the leading online business-to-consumer marketplace in the five countries in which it operates. In 2017, it more than doubled in size, delivering more than 2.1 million orders and attracting over 260 million site visits. The company is on track to more than double again in 2018.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    June 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.


    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).


    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    South Asia

    The countries where the investment delivers impact. Where impact is delivered in multiple countries, this is indicated.


    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    Consumer - other services

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

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    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Start date :
    September 2015
    Amount :
    Currency of investment :

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.


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