Ardent Capital exits Wow.lk after it is acquired by Sri Lanka’s Dialog Axiata

Wow.Ik Logo

Bangkok-based venture capital firm Ardent Capital has exited Sri Lanka-based e-commerce portfolio, Wow.Ik, after Dialog Axiata (Dialog) increased its stake in Digital Commerce Lanka Pvt (DCL), an operator of Wow.Ik, up to 100 per cent.

Dialog, the operator of Sri Lanka’s largest mobile network, initially purchased a 26-per-cent entry stake for $1.59 million, and increased to 45.71 per cent in DCL before it paid an additional 247.9 million rupees to acquire all the remaining shares.

Wow.Ik, formerly Anything.Ik, was established in 2011. One year later it merged several of Sri Lanka’s top e-commerce sites owned by Dialog including iBuy.Ik, and Tradenet.Ik into Wow.Ik, making DCL the largest daily deals site and online mall in Sri Lanka.

Reeza Zarook, Co-Founder of Anything.lk and former CEO of DCL, said in the statement that Anything.Ik was the catalyst for a whole new industry and changed the face of daily deals and retailing in Sri Lanka.

“The fact that there are in excess of 50 standalone ecommerce sites today, not to mention traditional brick and mortar business with ecommerce divisions, demonstrates the permanent change that came about from Anything.lk’s existence,” he said.

Wow.Ik was Ardent Capital’s first portfolio investment and began as a daily deals service before evolving into an online retail model.

It now includes a staff of approximately 100 employees. Its current services include Wow Deals, Travel, Tickets, WowMall, Classifieds, and an online financing application for all purchases made on the platform.

“Wow.lk is a perfect example of how a big player in a smaller market can be involved in multiple business verticals successfully,” Ardent Capital’s CEO Adrian Vanzyl cited.

“In Sri Lanka, the market was and still is nascent in the sense that consumers like to have the option of using e-commerce combined with a physical offering as well. The synergies provided by this deal drive this concept and help set a solid growth projection for e-commerce in Sri Lanka,” he added.

Also read: Ardent Capital invests $2.5m in Indonesia’s B2B portal Bizzy

Ardent Capital enters Indonesia’s e-commerce biz with MOXY

Singapore Reporter/s

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).

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

  • 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. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

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).

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

  • 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.