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|| Dubai investment firm acquired 25% of Turkish ecommerce site for $100 million

abraaj retailonlineDubai-based investment firm Abraaj Group has acquired 25 percent of Turkish online firm Hepsiburada.com for $100 million.

Established in 1998, Hepsiburada offers 500,000 products in more than 30 different categories. It is the most visited online retail site in the country, with over 1.5 million unique customers a year and more than 14 million unique monthly visitors.

Abraaj Group is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code OR01.

More details follows:

The Abraaj Group (‘Abraaj’ or ‘The Group’), a leading investor operating in global growth markets, today announced the acquisition, through one of its Funds, of a minority stake in Hepsiburada.com (‘Hepsiburada’ or the ‘Company’), the market leader in the Turkish online retail sector. The investment will be used by Hepsiburada to accelerate the rapid expansion of its market leading e-commerce operations in Turkey, including a custom-built, state-of-the-art fulfilment centre.

Established in 1998, Hepsiburada is headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey, and owned by the Dogan family, controlling shareholders of the Dogan Group, a leading Turkish conglomerate active in the media, energy, financial services and tourism sectors. The Company began as a vertical e-commerce player focused on IT hardware and has since diversified its portfolio. Its offering of 500,000 products in more than 30 different categories in 2014 is rapidly expanding and already has a broad range from mobile phones to cosmetics.

The Company is the market leader in the high growth Turkish online retail sector and is the most visited online retail site in the country, with over 1.5 million unique customers a year and more than 14 million unique monthly visitors, corresponding to more than a third of Turkey’s total online population. Over the last decade, Hepsiburada has achieved an impressive track record, growing its revenues more than 25 fold, while maintaining profitability and sustaining a high share of organic traffic, a rare performance in the global e-commerce space.

Hepsiburada has been a pioneer in growing the online retail sector in Turkey with a strong focus on offering the largest product selection available and improving the user experience by providing value-added services such as same-day delivery. It is also the country’s only online retailer with the requisite infrastructure to store credit card data, allowing customers to make swift online purchases using express check-out functionality.

The Turkish online retail sector is a compelling one to invest in given the conversion from offline to online retail as a result of both changing consumer habits and increased internet penetration, particularly amongst the urban and young population. Internet penetration in Turkey increased from c.18 per cent in 2006 to c.50 per cent in 2013. The availability of an established logistics network and high credit card penetration in Turkey are also facilitating the growth of the sector.

Abraaj’s investment will be used to implement the value creation plan prepared together with the Hepsiburada management team, which includes relocating to a new, purpose-built fulfilment center and other critical value-added services including last-mile delivery. The new fulfilment center with its 100,000sq.m operational floor will be the largest and most sophisticated infrastructure investment in the Turkish retail sector to date and will replace the Company’s existing five warehouse facilities. The fulfilment center will have unique logistics capabilities to serve Hepsiburada as well as its third party merchants.

Abraaj’s investment will also allow Hepsiburada to make extensive enhancements to its IT infrastructure, launch its third-party marketplace offering, implement best-in-class CRM capabilities, and strengthen its mobile offering. As part of the transaction, Abraaj will also invest in the two smaller online subsidiaries of Hepsiburada, Evmanya and Altincicadde, which will enable the Company, with Abraaj’s support, to address the significant growth opportunity in the furniture and home accessories market through an omni-channel presence with four brick and mortar stores.

Commenting on the transaction, Arif Naqvi, Founder and Group Chief Executive of The Abraaj Group, said: “Our investment in Hepsiburada represents a landmark transaction for Abraaj in the online retail space and marks our ninth investment in Turkey since 2007. Our strong credentials in Turkey are underpinned by proven partnerships, outstanding exits and a robust commitment to value creation, which we will continue to demonstrate using our significant regional and investment expertise to transition Hepsiburada into the next phase of its growth trajectory”.

Hanzade Dogan Boyner, Executive Chairwoman of Hepsiburada, said: “Our goal at Hepsiburada is to offer a simplified and improved shopping experience to Turkish consumers by providing them with the full gamut of products they need at competitive prices and with value-added services. Looking ahead, we are launching our new marketplace platform in early 2015, fully accessible to third-party merchants, which will underpin the inevitable transformation of the Turkish retail sector. We are also committed to a mobile-first approach and will launch our responsive site in the second half of 2015. Our mobile revenues tripled in 2014 and we intend to maintain that momentum. The partnership with Abraaj will further strengthen our leadership position and provide us with a competitive edge as we continue our expansion plans in Turkey and the region.”

Selçuk Yorgancıoğlu, Partner and Regional Head of Turkey and Central Asia at The Abraaj Group, added: “The online retail sector in Turkey has been growing seven times faster than store-based retail since 2007; yet online retail penetration in the country is still low at approximately one fifth of the European levels. Hepsiburada is the first-mover and the largest player in the online retail sector in Turkey, and is uniquely positioned to lead the expansion of e-commerce in the country. We are very excited to partner with this dynamic business led by the highly successful and entrepreneurial Executive Chairwoman Hanzade Dogan Boyner.
- See more at: http://www.abraaj.com/news-and-insight/news/press-release-the-abraaj-group-invests-in-leading-turkish-e-commerce-busine/#sthash.y9xeOLhO.dpuf

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