United Internet Acquires Stake in Venture Capital Firm Rocket Internet

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German hosting company United Internet is acquiring a 10.7 percent stake in Rocket Internet, a venture capital firm based in Berlin, for $582 million in cash and assets, according to reports on Friday.

According to a report by Forbes, the investment by United Internet pushes Rocket Internet’s valuation to more than $5 billion. The company is expected to debut on the Frankfurt stock exchange in the next few months.

Rocket Internet has seen other private investment interest lately, with the Philippines Long Distance Telephone company announcing a $445 million strategic investment a couple of weeks ago.

Launched in 2007, Rocket Internet is based in Berlin but has offices across Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America. According to Forbes, the company has launched 75 startups since its founding, and brought in $900 million in revenue in 2013.

Rocket’s CEO and co-founder Oliver Samwer has an existing relationship with United Internet, having worked together through venture capital fund Global Founders Capital since 2007. The fund’s portfolio includes over 50 companies including gaming and financial technology companies.

Aside from United Internet, other shareholders in Rocket including AB Kinnevik, Access Industries, PLDT, and Global Founders Fund, which owns the majority of shares with a 53.7 percent stake in the company.

Earlier this year, United Internet acquired a 25 percent equity stake in ecommerce platform ePages, which is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, and is hosting its partner conference, Commerce Summit, next month.


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About the Author

Nicole Henderson is the Editor in Chief of the WHIR, where she covers daily news and features online. She has a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto. You can find her on Twitter @NicoleHenderson.

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