AliExpress Russia eyes possible IPO, reports $3b in transaction volumes

REUTERS/Aly Song

Online retailer AliExpress Russia on Wednesday said an initial public offering was a possible step for the company, which reported gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $3 billion for the 2020-21 financial year.

A joint venture launched in 2019 with China’s Alibaba and Russian partners, AliExpress Russia operates domestic and cross-border sales.

The company said it now has 29.1 million monthly active users on its online marketplace.

AliExpress Russia did not give a comparison for total GMV, which stood at 229.3 billion roubles ($2.96 billion) for the year to March 31. GMV for its domestic business was up 151% year-on-year at 54.9 billion roubles, the company said.

The COVID-19 pandemic gave a boost to Russia’s e-commerce sector as health restrictions kept consumers at home, but AliExpress Russia, which depends on cross-border transactions for more than three-quarters of its business, was slower to see the benefit as supply chains adjusted to new travel restrictions.

The company said an IPO was a possible step, but that such a decision was one for its shareholders.

“There are no specific plans for the dates – it may be next year or later,” AliExpress Russia said.

CEO Dmitry Sergeev said the company’s cross-border business grew in line with Russia’s total e-commerce market, which analysts from market research firm Euromonitor put at almost 40% in 2020, and that its domestic business was growing ahead of the market.

Russian e-commerce leader Wildberries has reported full-year GMV in 2020 of 437.2 billion roubles, up 96% year-on-year. Online retailer Ozon, which staged a successful initial public offering (IPO) late last year, reported 144% GMV growth in 2020 at 197.4 billion roubles.

AliExpress Russia said 2020 GMV, not including services, was 209.6 billion roubles, without providing a growth comparison.

The company said it was sticking to a target of an annual turnover of $10 billion by 2023, a figure first disclosed in an interview Sergeev gave to Reuters last July.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.