Rocket Internet

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Rocket Internet SE is a German internet company headquartered in Berlin. The company builds online startups and owns shareholdings in various internet companies, including Dafiti, Foodpanda, HelloFresh, Home24, Jumia, Jovago, Lazada, Zalora and Spotcap. [1]

It provides office space to new companies at its headquarters in Berlin, with IT support, marketing services and access to investors. The company aims to operate outside the US and China, [2] with holdings in several countries, and more than 25,000 employees.[3]

History[edit]

The company was founded in Berlin in 2007 by three brothers: Marc, Oliver and Alexander Samwer. [4] and was once also connected to the European Founders Fund, an associated company

On July 1, 2014, Rocket Internet changed its legal form from a GmbH (private limited company) to an AG (public limited company).[5] The initial public offering took place on October 2, 2014 at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company is listed in the Entry Standard. On March 18, 2015 the company changed its legal form into an SE (Societas Europaea).[6] In mid-April, Global Founders held 38.1% in Rocket Internet, Kinnevik 13.2%, United Internet 8.3%, Baillie Gifford 6.8%, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company 6.1% and Access Industries 6.0%. Holtzbrinck Ventures held a 1.8% share, with main investors holding shares of 3.4%; 16.3% was held in free float.[7]

The company’s market value was approximately 8 billion euros in April 2015.[8]

Critique[edit]

The company has been criticized for its “copycatstrategy of founding startups which replicate the business models of other established, successful companies.[9] In 2011, 20 of the then-130 employees left Rocket Internet at the same time.[10][11] According to media coverage at the time, the reason for this string of layoffs was “bad quality of new products” and a “gruff manner” towards employees in the course of Rocket Internet’s expansion into a “large corporation”. The former Rocket Internet managers subsequently went on to found the incubator Project A Ventures with help from the Otto Group.[12]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]