Downward Revisions

Launch Pad Problems at Rocket Internet

OliverSamwer-Reuters
Oliver Samwer's company is not having as many successes as it had hoped.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Rocket Internet still needs to prove it has what it takes to make it as a start-up incubator.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Rocket Internet planned to float its latest creation, HelloFresh, but was forced to withdraw in early November.
    • Rocket’s share price is trading some 40 percent below where it was when it launched in October 2014.
    • CEO Oliver Samwer is looking at expanding beyond online retail.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Germany can be gloomy in autumn, just like the prospects for the country’s leading start-up incubator, Rocket Internet.

The company’s disappointment comes from its food delivery service HelloFresh, which sends cooking boxes containing ingredients, spices and recipe right to the customer’s door. It is currently the most promising majority holding in Rocket Internet’s portfolio, but in early November it backed out of an only recently announced plan to go public.

Investors were unsettled, as there is a distinct lack of proof that Rocket Internet’s business model really works.

And what is more: Now chief executive Oliver Samwer is finding that important managers are jumping ship or threatening to do so. And he himself is increasingly investing his own money outside the Internet. All of this is not exactly trust-enhancing behavior.

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