Start-up incubator Rocket Internet to pursue US$1bn IPO this year

10 Sep 2014

German start-up incubator Rocket Internet is to pursue a US$1bn flotation on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange later this year.

Led by the Samwer brothers, Rocket Internet is active in more than 100 countries and makes revenues of US$1bn a year.

The decision to IPO comes just days after one of the companies it helped to incubate – Europe’s biggest online fashion player Zalando – revealed it planned to raise €500m by listing 10-15pc of its stock on the markets.

Global ambition

Rocket Internet incubates promising start-ups and is focused mainly on e-commerce ventures and online marketplaces, fostering ambitions to be as vital in these markets as Amazon is in the US and Alibaba is in China.

Its mission statement reads: “to become the world’s largest internet platform outside the United States and China”.

“Rocket intends to use the proceeds from the IPO to finance its future growth through the launch of new businesses and providing further equity capital to its network of companies,” investment company Kinnevik said.

Brothers Marc, Oliver and Alexander Samwer founded Rocket Internet in 2007. Investment AB Kinnevik (‘Kinnevik’) and Access Industries became Rocket Internet investors and partners in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Rocket Internet is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and operates 25 international offices in five continents.

Currently, the shareholders consist of Global Founders (the investment vehicle of Oliver Samwer), Kinnevik, Access Industries, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, United Internet and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and some of their affiliates. 

Digital Europe image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years