RDIF, Alibaba Group, MegaFon and Mail.Ru Group launch new social commerce joint venture in Russia and the CIS


The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Alibaba Group, and MegaFon and Mail.Ru Group have announced a new strategic partnership, to integrate Russia’s consumer internet and e-commerce platforms, launching a social commerce joint venture in Russia and the CIS.

Under the partnership, the parties will form a new joint venture (JV) by leveraging the existing businesses of AliExpress Russia to try to accelerate the development of Russia’s growing digital economy.

Contributing AliExpress Russia into the JV, Alibaba Group will inject cash along with other resources to support the JV. RDIF will invest new capital into the JV acquiring additional shares from Alibaba Group to become a shareholder of AliExpress Russia with a 13% stake.

MegaFon will sell its 10% stake in Mail.Ru Group to Alibaba Group in exchange for a 24% stake in AliExpress Russia. Mail.Ru Group will contribute its Pandao e-commerce business, cash and distribution product integrations in exchange for a 15% stake in AliExpress Russia.

Following the completion of the transactions, AliExpress Russia will be owned by Alibaba Group (48%), MegaFon (24%), Mail.Ru Group (15%) and RDIF (13%). The JV will operate across all e-commerce segments, including cross-border and local marketplaces and first-party retail.

The key strategic benefits of the JV look to leverage Mail.Ru Group’s 100 million internet users, further Russia’s consumption upgrade, support Russian SMEs and accelerate the Russian digital economy. The JV is also planning to broaden the ecosystem and lifestyle use cases by investing into another business together with Mail.Ru Group, including foodtech and other initiatives.

Commenting on the JV, Michael Evans, President of Alibaba Group, said: “By partnering with Russia’s leading consumer internet platform, AliExpress Russia will help digitize and transform the retail value chain in Russia, enabling a seamless and innovative experience for consumers as well as creating significant opportunities for Russian entrepreneurs and SMEs to grow in their home market and expand globally.”

Source: Alibaba Group