Rocket Internet raises another US$500mil to further global expansion
Latest injection represents largest investment ever made in an internet incubator and accelerator company
ROCKET Internet said it has raised a total of US$500 million from partners Investment AB Kinnevik and Access Industries since May 2012, representing the largest investment ever made in an Internet incubator and accelerator company.
The funds will be used to further expand the company’s worldwide network of successful Internet startups, Rocket Internet said in a statement.
“This is a highly significant investment from our partners Kinnevik and Access Industries. The additional capital supports our goal to be the world´s largest and most successful creator of high impact companies in the Internet space and reaffirms the confidence our investors have in our business,” said its co-founder Oliver Samwer (pic).
"We will use the new capital to further strengthen our global presence while continuing to build successful companies together with great entrepreneurs," he added.
To date, Rocket Internet has started over 100 companies, developing many of them across five continents. The company’s core team of experts works with entrepreneurs, establishes new businesses, and then supports the new enterprises to maximise their growth.
Engineering work is primarily done in-house through its 250 dedicated IT engineers based in the company’s corporate headquarters in Berlin and in various technology development centres throughout the world. Rocket Internet claims it currently holds a significant interest in 75 ventures with 20,000 employees in over 50 countries worldwide.
Its strategy is to develop and support leading, highly innovative e-commerce companies in the fashion, general merchandise and furniture sectors. Rocket Internet is targeting Europe, Russia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, India, South-East Asia and Australia with its ventures – covering in total five billion people and 60% of the global gross domestic product (GDP), it said.
Since 2010, Rocket Internet has helped to create and grow over a dozen leading e-commerce players including:
In the fashion ecommerce sector:
Zalora, in South-East Asia
Namshi, in the Middle East
In the general merchandise ecommerce sector:
Lazada, in South-East Asia
Linio, in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela
In the online furniture and home decoration ecommerce sector:
Westwing, in Europe, Russia and Latin America
Other companies recently founded by Rocket Internet include payment service provider Paymill.com; Foodpanda.com, a food delivery service company currently available to three billion people in over 20 countries; and EasyTaxi, which offers online taxi booking in Latin America and Asia. Rocket also holds a stake in Zalando, Europe´s largest online fashion company.
Rocket Internet companies are backed by global institutional investors and entrepreneurial families. Recent capital raises include US$100 million for 18-month-old Zalora, US$100 million for year-old Lazada, US$130 million for two-year-old Lamoda and US$25 million for 18-month-old The Iconic.
The Lamoda capital raised was the largest investment ever made in Russian e-commerce; the Zalora and Lazada investments were the largest ever made in Internet companies in South-East Asia; and the The Iconic capital raised was the largest investment ever in Australian e-commerce, Rocket Internet claimed.
The company was founded in 2007 by brothers Alexander, Marc and Oliver Samwer. Investment AB Kinnevik and Access Industries became Rocket Internet investors and partners in 2008 and 2012, respectively. The company is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and operates 25 international offices in five continents.
Over the past 15 years, Rocket and/or the Samwer Brothers have created, developed, and successfully exited over 25 significant online businesses to leading international companies such as eBay, Groupon, Rakuten, and NBC Universal.
They were also early investors in Facebook, LinkedIn and EventBrite.
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