Online retailer Trendyol has seen its value soar after raising $1.5 billion (£1.09 billion) in investment. Backed by Alibaba, Turkey’s biggest e-commerce platform is now valued at $16.5 billion, making it the first Turkish decacorn (a start-up company worth over $10 billion).
The latest round of funding for Trendyol came from high-profile investors, led by US General Atlantic and Japanese SoftBank Vision funds, as well as Berlin-based Princeville Capital, and sovereign wealth funds ADQ (UAE) and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).
Alibaba had invested €300 million (£254 million) in the company earlier this year, after committing to help Trendyol’s expansion in Turkey and abroad. The Chinese internet giant’s network will give distribution access to over 190 countries.
Commenting on the investment Demet Mutlu, the founder of the company, said that as Turkey’s first decacorn Trendyol will strengthen its position in the international arena.
“This investment will increase international interest in Turkey’s digital eco-system and will accelerate the development of our industry” Ms Mutlu stated.
Trendyol will set aside some of the proceeds to expand support services built around e-commerce and “create new export channels for Turkish merchants and manufacturers”, chairman Evren Üçok said.
The e-commerce company has benefited from a surge in online buying in Turkey, which jumped 66% last year, according to Turkey’s Trade Ministry.
Trendyol’s gross merchandise value, a measure of the products it sells on its platform, has grown by around 20 times in the past three years and is on track to hit $10 billion this year, people familiar with the company said in April.
Founded in 2010, Trendyol serves more than 30 million shoppers, delivering more than 1 million packages each day, ranging from groceries, to electronics and clothes.
The e-commerce platform is now part of the Trendyol Group, which also provides logistics, payment and other support services to make e-commerce more attractive for shoppers.
The company currently employs a total of 4,000 people, including its Trendyol Express couriers and service providers.