Incubator-Accelerator Rocket Internet Becomes a Billion-Dollar Endeavor

Rocket Internet, the Berlin-based incubator and company builder behind internet entities all over the globe, today made a stunning announcement. Rocket has raised a total of US$500 million from investment partners AB Kinnevik and Access Industries over the past year.

A new AB Kinnevik investment of US$88 million (€67 million) gave Rocket is latest boost. It is now the most funded internet incubator and accelerator in the world.

Mia Brunell Livfors, CEO of Kinnevik, commented on this latest investment:

Over the past four years, Rocket Internet has been instrumental in the building of Kinnevik’s e-commerce investments in companies like Zalando, Lamoda, Dafiti and an additional 75 businesses. With our latest investment in Rocket Internet, Kinnevik further strengthens its partnership with the founders of Rocket Internet and with Access Industries as strategic partner.

And by the looks if it, Rocket is spreading the funding wealth. According to the Wall Street Journal, Rocket Internet’s companies have raised over US$600 million to date, rendering the incubator a billion-dollar entity. Talk about a cash cow.

A Deeper Look

Rocket Internet combines team, concept, technology and capital to create digital companies all over the globe. It has developed over 100 companies across five continents, its core team of business experts and IT professionals working alongside entrepreneurs to create and grow new concepts and ideas.

The incubator employs 250 engineers to execute its projects. It holds significant interest in 75 ventures, encompassing 20,000 employees in 50 countries.

E-commerce has become a focal point for Rocket. In fact, it’s created over a dozen ventures in the rubric since 2010, among them some pretty familiar names for Latin American consumers – Dafiti, Linio and Mobly, to name a few. Its regional ventures have also proven popular among other investors, with Mobly being backed by Cisneros Group and Linio being heavily funded through deals with Valorem, Santo Domingo Group, Tengelmann and Summit Partners, among others.

Rocket has found success in Latin America with ventures in other sectors, as well. Its food delivery startup Foodpanda announced a US$20 million investment deal in May. And we can’t forget about Easy Taxi, the cab hailing app in which Rocket recently upped its stakes an additional US$15 million.

With this latest Kinnevik investment, Rocket Internet will only become bigger and better. Oliver Samwer, one of Rocket’s co-founders, remarked:

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.

Rocket Internet may not be the most well-liked player in the startup game – it’s often criticized for its clone-heavy tactics and sometimes brash management decisions. It is, however, a huge, billion-dollar force to be reckoned with that is revolutionizing the way companies are built and grow.