The next stage of Rocket Internet

ROCKET INTERNET is helping about 200 businesses reach for the stars, and has invested a total of €400m ($445m) in them. When the startup incubator unveiled its first-quarter results in Berlin on May 29th, analysts focused not on these firms but on Rocket itself—specifically, the next stage in its trajectory.

Rocket went public in 2014. Its business model gained notoriety: apeing successful American online firms in Europe and emerging markets. The idea was to create local market leaders—or force American originals to acquire them. Early knockoffs included Pinspire (Pinterest), Plinga (Zynga), Wimdu (Airbnb) and Citydeal (Groupon). Investors loved it.

Two years later the strategy stalled. Rocket proved better at launching companies than running them. Most of its startups lost money; a dozen folded. Its self-depiction as a “network of companies”, not an investment firm, left shareholders unconvinced. It issued its first profit warning in September 2016, by which time its market value had fallen to just €2.9bn, compared with a peak of €8.7bn in 2015.

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via Business Feeds

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