Global Fashion Group hires ex-Amazon.com exec as CEO
By Eric Auchard
FRANKFURT, April 8 (Reuters) - Global Fashion Group (GFG), formed out of five Kinnevik- and Rocket Internet- backed online fashion start-ups active across dozens of emerging markets, has hired the former head of Amazon France as its new chief executive.
The newly merged company said on Wednesday it is taking 32 million euros ($34.7 million) of new financing from Tengelmann Ventures and Verlinvest at the same 2.8 billion euro valuation as when the five-company merger was first announced in early September.
GFG said it plans to use the funds to finance growth in 27 country markets on four continents, up from 23 countries seven months ago, when the merger was announced. It has recently set up operations in Belarus, Ukraine, Lebanon and Brunei.
The company is made up of five regional fashion companies - Dafiti, Lamoda, Jabong, Zalora and Namshi, each established brands in their regions and run by their own management teams.
GFG said former Amazon France President Romain Voog, 43, will become the chief executive, and Nils Chrestin, 34, will serve as its chief financial officer in January.
The company, which is to be based in London, operates online fashion sites in countries which typically lack reliable transport delivery networks on which modern e-commerce depends.
It overcomes this by creating its own transport networks -- branded vans and motorcycle drivers deliver online purchases to customers, who typically pay cash on demand. They also handle returns, and act as mobile advertising for the service.
GFG has 9,500 employees, roughly 40 percent of whom are in fulfilment - delivery, warehousing or stock-picking functions. It outsources some delivery operations where local services are available, but considers its physical delivery network a key strategy for connecting to its customers. Continuación...