Jack Ma to retire, Hybris to IPO? and ecommerce in South Africa
The past week has been an interesting one. IPO’s seems to be a topic of note in 2013 and Alibaba is seemingly getting their house in order to go public in the next 18 months. Ma is retiring in May 2013 from being CEO of Alibaba and moving away from being in charge is a strategic move. Ma has been accused in the past of not disclosing information regarding holdings and if he is seen as being in charge of Alibaba when they do go public it will hurt their potential of investment. Even if Ma is not CEO or President of the company, he will likely become chairman of the company, so he will still be in control of the long term strategy. Alibaba is his offspring and he will ensure that it does well in the long term.
If Alibaba goes public, I think we will see an increasing amount of Alibaba businesses going into Asia and Australia. Asia is at the moment a straight battle between 2 giants (Alibaba and Rakuten) and upcoming ecommerce businesses which are either funded (Rocket Internet, MIH, eBay and Amazon) and unfunded (startups).
At the moment ecommerce platforms or software providers is a vertical that is tightly monetised and scrutinised by corporates. The corporate owners of ATG, GSI Commerce, Magento and Hybris are all looking to own a specific part of ecommerce landscape and make considerable returns on investment. ATG is owned by Oracle and has flown by the radar for a very long time and service businesses like Walmart. GSI Commerce and Magento is owned by eBay and it is slowly becoming clear what the value of the holdings are for eBay. Hybris is a company that intrigues me and has flown below the radar. Enterprise ecommerce solutions is going to become increasingly important as ecommerce becomes more mainstream in developing economies.
The stories that caught my attention for the past week: