German venture capitalist Rocket heads for €5bn float in Frankfurt

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Oliver Samwer
German venture capital firm and startup incubator Rocket Internet yesterday unveiled plans for a stock market listing in Germany that could value the company behind dozens of online start-ups at €5bn (£4bn), riding a wave of e-commerce flotations.

Rocket, that replicates e-commerce businesses in a number of startups that it has launched around the world, said that it would look to raise about €750m by selling a stake reported to be between 10 and 15 per cent of the firm.

Berlin-based Rocket said in a statement its offer would consist solely of new shares and it would use the proceeds to fund growth by launching new businesses and providing more capital to its existing companies.

Founded in 2007 by brothers Oliver, Alexander and Marc Samwer, Rocket is now active in more than 100 countries, with sales of $1bn in 2013 via e-commerce and online marketplaces for everything from taxis to meal deliveries.

“We believe the internet will play a transformational role in people's lives everywhere, particularly in emerging markets,” said chief executive Oliver Samwer.

The Samwer brothers own 52.3 per cent of the existing Rocket stock and hold 17 per cent of Zalando, a European e-commerce firm that is preparing to float, so the two listings would make them billionaires.

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