Rocket Internet

The E-Commerce Icarus

ARCHIV - Oliver Samwer, Gründer und Vorstandsvorsitzender der Rocket Internet AG, steht am 24.09.2014 während einer Pressekonferenz in Frankfurt/Main (Hessen) vor dem Logo des Unternehmens. Foto: Boris Roessler/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Oliver Samwer or Icarus?
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Rocket Internet is Europe’s biggest online start-up by market valuation.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Rocket was founded in 2007 by Berlin-based serial entrepreneur Oliver Samwer and his brothers Alexander and Marc.
    • At its 2014 IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the company raised €1.6 billion, the most ever in Europe.
    • The company consists of a complex web of hundreds of online services worldwide, including fashion, furniture and food delivery.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Two years ago, Rocket Internet looked primed to go stratospheric. Europe’s e-commerce answer to Alibaba and Amazon had already created Germany’s eBay, sold off the Zalando fashion retailer and captured Asia’s online fast-food markets.

The proceeds from its €1.6 billion stock listing in October 2014 were to provide the next big boost. Since then Rocket’s successes have sputtered amid fears of a new Internet bubble, leaving the company scraping for its next big deal.

Rocket Internet began as an incubator for other online start-ups, accelerating the spread of e-commerce worldwide by replicating the online success of America’s internet giants. It’s also a cautionary tale about misjudging capricious financial markets and adjusting management practices in the progression from a small German start-up to a sprawling concern with 30,000 employees worldwide.

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