Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has decided to invest in Turkish e-commerce platform Trendyol, a deal which is said will be the largest internet investment so far in Turkey, according to a statement by the two companies. Alibaba will make the investment by taking the shares of Trendyol's existing financial investors.
After the deal, Trendyol and Alibaba will work together to accelerate and strengthen the growth of the Turkish startup in the country and in the region. The Chinese giant will share and exchange knowledge and experience with the local startup on issues such as technology, online trade, mobile payments, logistics, and international trade.
Michael Evans, Alibaba group chairman and board member, said the Turkish market is a very exciting and important one when assessing different digital economies in the world and the region. "With this investment, Alibaba will join a market leader under the leadership of a strong founder and management team. Trendyol is a very strong platform, and a very fast growing brand which has loyal business partners and a large customer base. With this collaboration, we will create significant opportunities in e-commerce, digital payment systems and the entire retail value chain in Turkey and the region. Trendyol's founders and current management team will continue to lead and will also contribute to the Alibaba ecosystem. Together with Trendyol, we will continue to support the true globalization of Turkish brands, business partners and manufacturers," Evans added.
Trendyol's founder and CEO Demet Mutlu said in a statement that the two companies have a very similar culture and values, adding that both have great goals for the digital ecosystem. "On our trip, which started with passion and big goals eight years ago with five people around a table, we have created Turkey's largest and fastest growing mobile e-commerce platform... Alibaba is a company we have always taken as an example, now with their investment and support; we will carry Trendyol together to much bigger goals, much more customers, and much more countries. Together with Alibaba, we will introduce hundreds of millions of customers to Turkish brands," Mutlu said.
The Chinese e-commerce platform has been in talks with Turkish officials for a while to start operations in the country. Executives of the Chinese e-commerce giant previously highlighted their aim to enter the Turkish market and to contribute to Turkey's exports with a specific target of reaching $50 billion by 2023.