Kinnevik has sold its remaining stake in Rocket Internet, a German e-commerce company, for €244 million. The Swedish investment company was one of the first investors in Rocket after the founders, the Samwer brothers, Marc, Oliver and Alexander.
Founded in 2007, Rocket Internet is one of Europe's most valuable tech groups. The Berlin-based incubator firm is part startup factory and part venture capital firm. It has launched dozens of businesses from fashion e-commerce to food delivery, many of them clones of Silicon Valley startups.
Since listing in 2014, Rocket stocks have halved in value, falling from a high of €53 in 2015 to a low of €15 in April dragged down by valuations for some of its loss-making startups. Rocket shares rallied on recent news that two portfolio companies, online food takeaway firm Delivery Hero and meal kit company HelloFresh, could float soon. Emaar Malls also purchased 51% of Namshi, the Middle East fashion site of Rocket.
Kinnevik capitalized on the rally by selling its remaining stake in Rocket. Kinnevik had already sold half of its 13% shares in Rocket in February for approximately €209 million. The company invested €155 million in Rocket from 2009 to 2013. The next largest shareholders are United Internet and British investor Baillie Gifford.
In recent years, Rocket has shifted its focus from only launching its own businesses to investing in start-ups founded by others. This means the two companies have increasingly become competitors, executives from Rocket Internet and Kinnevik executives have commented.
The two companies remain co-investors in companies such as Global Fashion Group, Home24 and Westwing. Kinnevik remains invested in Zalando, an online fashion rival to Rocket, with a 32% stake.