Sci-tech

Based Luxury marketplace Farfetch scores $397Mn from China's JD.com

Based Luxury marketplace Farfetch scores $397Mn from China's JD.com”

JD.com, Alibaba's largest rival in the Chinese e-commerce market, has invested almost $400 million into Farfetch, a fast-growing online marketplace for luxury fashion boutiques.

As a result of the deal, Richard Liu, JD.com's founder and CEO will join Farfetch's board.

In a statement issued today (22 June), JD.com said: "The strategic partnership between JD.com and Farfetch leverages JD's unparalleled logistics, Internet finance and technology capabilities and social media resources, including its WeChat partnership, with Farfetch's leadership in global luxury, to create a frictionless and seamless brand experience".

In return, JD.com gets an important ally as it focuses on high-end retail to help it differentiate from Alibaba, which despite various anti-counterfeiting efforts is still saddled with a reputation as a haven for knockoffs.

Farfetch sells products from over 700 luxury boutiques and brands.

The move comes as both JD.com, with a market cap of $57 billion, and Alibaba are making a big push to court Western fashion brands to their own sites. The company's said to be considering a sizeable investment in Indonesian peer Tokopedia, and has begun courting higher-income customers with a "white-glove" premium service on more expensive purchases.

The Farfetch users can also access a slew of services offered by JD Finance that include JD Pay, which will be a preferred payments partner, and Baitiao, JD Finance's popular consumer microcredit channel. But China comprises only 10 percent of its global revenue despite China being the world's second-largest luxury market, and the company has been busy raising funds for further expansion.

"This partnership with Farfetch further extends our lead in the battle for the future of China's upwardly mobile consumers". Over the last two years, JD.com has hosted fashion shows in New York, Milan, London, Beijing and Shanghai. At the start of the year it appointed Winston Cheng as President of worldwide to lead its worldwide business development with global partners and overseas investments. "This partnership addresses the market's challenges by combining the Farfetch brand and curation with the scale and influence of the foremost Chinese e-commerce giant", said José Neves, founder and CEO of Farfetch.

Jose Neves, founder, CEO, and co-chairman of Farfetch.



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