United Internet announces strategic investment in Rocket Internet

15 AUGUST 2014
Montabaur & Berlin, Germany, 15 August 2014 – United Internet AG (“United Internet”) and Rocket Internet AG (“Rocket”) are pleased to announce that United Internet is investing a total of €435 million for a 10.7% stake in Rocket. The investment will cement the long term strategic relationship between United Internet and Oliver Samwer, Rocket’s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder.

United Internet’s investment consists of €333 million in cash and €102 million represented by United Internet’s equity participation in the portfolio of Global Founders Capital funds (“Global Founders Capital”).

Global Founders Capital is a portfolio of over 50 venture capital investments held jointly by United Internet and Global Founders Fund GmbH (“Global Founders Fund”, formerly European Founders Fund GmbH), the personal investment vehicle of Oliver Samwer and his brothers. The portfolio includes minority stakes in companies such as games maker Goodgame Studios; online travel sites such as Traveloka and Travelbird; online marketplaces Yemek Sepeti and DaWanda; and financial technology companies Kreditech, Borro and SocietyOne. Rocket gains stakes in certain businesses that are well aligned with its focus sectors and geographies, such as Yemek Sepeti – a leading Turkish online food delivery marketplace, and Traveloka – a leading Indonesian travel metasearch provider.

As part of this transaction, the equity participation of Global Founders Fund in Global Founders Capital, valued at €153 million, will also be contributed into Rocket in exchange for new shares, which will bring Global Founders Fund’s stake in Rocket to 53.7 per cent.

The total value of the new funds invested and the Global Founders Capital portfolio is €588 million. The investment and contributions imply a €4.3 billion post-transaction valuation for Rocket.

United Internet's investment will be in newly issued shares by Rocket, of the same class and bearing the same rights as shares held by current Rocket investors. Underlining the commitment to Rocket, Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of United Internet, will become a member of Rocket’s nine-person Supervisory Board.

Following this investment, in addition to United Internet (10.7%), shares in Rocket will be held by Investment AB Kinnevik (18.5%), Access Industries (8.5%), Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (8.6%) and the Global Founders Fund (53.7%).

Ralph Dommermuth, founder and CEO of United Internet, said:

“We’ve partnered with Oliver Samwer for several years and jointly made a number of highly successful early stage investments in consumer internet and technology businesses in Germany and internationally. I have been very impressed by the quality and scale of Rocket and its network of companies and we are excited to support the further development of the group with additional growth capital. Our investment is strategic and long-term in nature and we look forward to working with the Rocket team and the other shareholders going forward.”

Oliver Samwer, co-founder and CEO of Rocket, commented:

“Rocket and United Internet share a long-term approach to value creation from the growth of Internet services. We are very pleased to receive this vote of confidence in our ability to generate value from one of Europe’s most successful Internet entrepreneurs and companies. We look forward to deploying the fresh capital to grow our platform and businesses around the world, and are pleased to be gaining stakes in certain businesses that are well aligned with our focus sectors and geographies.

The close partnership between Global Founders Fund and United Internet has been based on seven years of joint investing in consumer Internet and technology businesses through Global Founders Capital. By contributing 100 per cent of Global Founders Capital into Rocket, my brothers and I are combining all our new company building and investing activities within Rocket.”

About United Internet

With 13.87 million fee-based customer contracts and 31.44 million ad-financed free accounts, United Internet AG is Europe’s leading internet specialist. At the heart of United Internet is a high-performance “Internet Factory” with 6,700 employees, of which around 2,000 are engaged in product management, development and data centers. In addition to the high sales strength of its established brands (1&1, GMX, WEB.DE, united-domains, Fasthosts, arsys, InterNetX, Sedo and affilinet), United Internet stands for outstanding operational excellence with around 45 million customer accounts worldwide.

About Rocket Internet

Rocket's mission is to become the world’s largest Internet platform outside of China and the United States. Rocket identifies and builds proven internet business models and transfers them to new, underserved or untapped markets where it seeks to scale them into market leading online companies.

Rocket is focused on online business models that satisfy basic consumer needs across three sectors: e-Commerce, marketplaces and financial technology.

Rocket started in 2007 and now has more than 20,000 employees across its network of companies, which operate in more than 100 countries on five continents. 

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About Rocket Internet

About Rocket Internet

Rocket Internet incubates and invests in internet and technology companies globally. It provides operational support to its companies and helps them scale internationally. Rocket Internet focuses predominantly on four industry sectors of online and mobile retail and services that make up a significant share of consumer spending: Food & Groceries, Fashion, General Merchandise and Home & Living. Rocket Internet’s selected companies are active in a large number of countries around the world with more than 33,000 employees. Rocket Internet SE is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN DE000A12UKK6, RKET). For further information please visit www.rocket-internet.com.