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International growth equity investor Summit Partners is set to invest €20 million in South African online retail giant Zando. This shows a huge vote of confidence in the South African ecommerce industry. Summit, a growth equity and credit investing company, has investments in more than 350 rapidly growing businesses across North America, Europe and Asia, raising nearly US$15-billion since 1984.
“We seek to invest in companies that build long-term value,” said Scott Collins, managing director and head of the Summit Partners London office. “Zando has shown dynamic growth in a short period of time.” This investment comes just a month after JP Morgan’s “double-digit million dollar” investment in Zando.
Managing director and co-founder of Zando, Manuel Koser, said this investment is proof of the belief in the South African market, which shows huge potential. “With the ubiquitous convergence of technologies, feature phones, smartphones, tablets and desktops with dedicated connectivity, internet accessibility is maturing,” said Koser.
Zando, offering an online catalogue of clothing, beauty products and accessories, is one of the five top consumer ecommerce sites in South Africa. In January this year it also launched a footwear category. “Our current offering of over 400 brands and 10 000 products online, positions us as a leading fashion ecommerce website in South Africa,” said Zando’s co-founder Peter Allerstorfer.
Internet penetration in South Africa, although still relatively low, is expected to hit the 20% mark in 2013, as internet usage becomes larger and users more experienced.