eCargo Acquires Jessica’s Suitcase Stake

By Grant Arnott | 24 Jan 2018

Online retail business Jessica’s Suitcase, focused on China and founded by Jessica Rudd, has been partly acquired by eCargo.

eCargo, a Chinese-based e-commerce technology and logistics company, has announced the acquisition of a 45% stake in Jessica’s Suitcase, with an option to purchase the remaining 55% within 18 months. Jessica Rudd, founder of the business and daughter of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, becomes a Board Member of eCargo.

“To continue our objective of bringing retail brands to China, we have decided to acquire Jessica’s Suitcase,” said John Muir, Chief Customer Officer, eCargo. “Jessica has been an Alibaba Australia and New Zealand Ambassador since 2016 and is the only one that currently has a Tmall Global store due to her Key Opinion Leader (KOL) status. With Jessica and her team joining us, we will enhance our Tmall Partner  Services with their expertise and build a closer relationship with Alibaba. We are also excited about the new services our merged entity will roll out to the Australia retail market.”

The company statement says that the combined business will offer eCargo a scale to plan for new Daigou services against the strong demand of Australia and New Zealand products by Chinese consumers through the rapidly-growing cross-border e-commerce channel.

John Lau, Executive Chairman of ECG, said: “We are very excited to be able to partner with Jessica’s Suitcase. Jessica is the only Australian-born-and-based KOL, i.e. an influencer in the eCommerce and digital marketing sectors, who has a strong reach in both Australia and China markets, which will significantly enhance ECG’s growth prospects and enable ECG to significantly benefit from the cross-border trade between Australia and China.

eCargo is an established Alibaba Tmall Partner (TP) of leading fashion brands including Ted Baker (U.K.), Juicy Couture (U.S.A.), and La Perla (Italy), and Jessica’s Suitcase retails iconic Australian brands such as Penfolds, Sukin, Aerogard, Aptamil, Freedom Foods, Absolute Organic, Bubs and Caprilac. We have no doubt that with the joint-force of eCargo and Jessica’s Suitcase, we will further facilitate the entry of Australian brands and retailers of Foodstuffs, Health Supplements, Apparel and Accessories into the China online market.”

Jessica Rudd said: “Since we launched Jessica’s Suitcase I’ve learned a lifetime of lessons about how Australia and the wider West could, with the right help, flourish in the world’s largest and savviest cohort of consumers. I am thrilled to be adding our experience to John’s more than 50 years in the business of trade and logistics. Together, we offer world-class support to brands and retailers, particularly those from Australia and New Zealand, attempting to enter and thrive in this complex marketplace.”

This is not eCargo’s first acquisition of an Australian business – eCargo acquired home-grown digital consultancy Amblique for $6 million in 2015.

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