One of the largest online retail markets in the emerging region of Eastern Europe, Turkey, has been a target for E-Commerce investment over the recent years. The market’s potential is immense: with Internet and online shopper penetration growing, B2C E-Commerce sales forecasted to double by 2019 . Both local and foreign investors have been active, with some major investment deals reflecting the peculiarities of the market.
Online stores of apparel have been most frequently invested into over the past few years. While clothing is the most purchased product category in many European countries, what sets Turkey apart is popularity of the private shopping model. The shopping clubs Markafoni, Trendyol.com and Morhipo rank among the most visited E-Commerce sites in the country. In 2014, South African Internet giant Naspers acquired the remaining stake in Markafoni for an undisclosed sum, while a few years earlier another prominent investor, Tiger Global Management, purchased a stake in Trendyol.com. Other investment targets in the online clothing segment in Turkey include Muslim women’s style shop Modanisa.com and online clothing retailer Lidyana.com.
The country’s market leader, online mass merchant Hepsiburada.com, also received investment. In early 2015, it closed on a deal with Dubai-based Abraaj Capital, which reportedly paid USD 100 million to acquire a 25% stake from the parent company Dogan Online. The newly raised investment will be used by Hepsiburada.com to improve logistics capabilities and launch services for third-party vendors through a marketplace model.