HomeFundingMeet Rocket Internet, the recording-breaking billion-dollar incubator

Meet Rocket Internet, the recording-breaking billion-dollar incubator

Rocket Internet announced today that it has raised a total of $500 million from partners Investment AB Kinnevik and Access Industries since May 2012. This represents the largest investment ever made in an internet incubator and accelerator company. The funds will be used to further expand Rocket Internet’s worldwide network of startups.

Through this investment, Oliver Samwer, the principal shareholder in Rocket Internet, has raised the impressive amount of ~€ 1,000,000,000 to be funneled into Rocket Internet in the last 26 weeks alone.

To date, Rocket Internet has started over 100 companies, developing many of them across five continents. The incubator was founded in 2007 by Alexander, Marc and Oliver Samwer. Investment AB Kinnevik and Access Industries became Rocket Internet investors and partners in 2008 and 2012, respectively. Rocket Internet is headquartered in Berlin 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. Rocket Internet’s engineering work is primarily done in-house through its 250 dedicated IT engineers based in Rocket Internet’s corporate headquarters in Berlin and in various technology development centres throughout the world. Currently, Rocket Internet holds a significant interest in 75 ventures with 20,000 employees in over 50 countries world-wide.

Rocket Internet’s strategy is to create leading e-commerce companies in Europe, Russia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, India, South East Asia and Australia. Since 2010, the incubator has helped to create and grow over a dozen leading e-commerce players including:

  • Dafiti, a leading online fashion store in Latin America
  • Lamoda, one of the biggest fashion e-commerce sites in Russia
  • Zalora, a leading e-commerce company in South East Asia
  • The Iconic, a leading e-commerce company in Australia
  • Namshi, a leading e-commerce company the market leader in the Middle East
  • Zando, a leading e-commerce startup in Africa
  • Lazada, a fast growing e-commerce startup in South East Asia
  • Linio, a large e-commerce company in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela
  • Jumia, a big e-commerce company in Africa
  • Home 24, one of the leading online furniture sites in Europe
  • Mobly, one of the leading online furniture site in Latin America
  • Westwing, a leading shop for home and living in Europe, Russia and Latin America
  • Paymill.com, a payment service provider
  • Foodpanda.com, a fast growing food delivery service
  • EasyTaxi, an application for online taxi bookings in Latin America and Asia
  • Zalando, Europe’s largest online fashion store

Rocket Internet companies are backed by leading global institutional investors and entrepreneurial families. Recent capital raises include: (a) $100 million for 18-month-old Zalora, a leading online fashion store in South East Asia; (b) $100 million for year-old Lazada, a large general merchandise e-commerce site in South East Asia; (c) $130 million for two-year-old Lamoda, a leading online fashion e-commerce site in Russia; and (d) $25 million for 18-month-old The Iconic, a large fashion e-commerce site in Australia. The Lamoda capital raise 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. The Iconic capital raise was the largest investment ever in Australian e-commerce.

Oliver Samwer, Rocket Internet’s co-founder said: “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. We will use the new capital to further strengthen our global presence while continuing to build successful companies together with great entrepreneurs.”

By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!

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Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr is the "Editor in Chief" of EU-Startups.com and started the blog in October 2010. He is excited about Europe's future, passionate about new business ideas and lives in Barcelona (Spain).


  1. Uwe is VP Investment Management of the Rocket Internet GmbH. He was previously Managing Director and Cofounder of DropGifts GmbH. Before that, he worked for 6 years in the investment banking advisory division of J.P. Morgan in London. He interned at L’Oréal, Bain & Company, J.P. Morgan and Helaba. Uwe holds a Master of Science in Management, Diplome Grande-Ecole and Diplomkaufmann of the ESCP European Business School.

  2. With the new investment by JP Morgan, will Zalora finally focus on its employees’ welfare and its customer service? We certainly hope so. Or if not, they could start paying our co-editor and her friend their long overdue stipend.

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