Rocket Internet moves into fintech and AI with £2.3bn cash investment up for grabs

Emily Nicolle
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Rocket could be funding the next AI robot
Rocket could be funding the next AI robot (Source: Getty)

Prolific German e-commerce investor Rocket Internet will begin channelling money towards startups in fintech, vertical marketplaces and artificial intelligence, confirmed CEO Oliver Samwer after revealing its first quarter results today.

Rocket currently owns majority stakes in meal kit delivery service HelloFresh and fashion house Global Fashion Group (GFG), though it recently sold eight per cent of its stake in the former to the tune of €150m (£131m).

The investor saw its share price rise last year after Hello Fresh and fellow food delivery service Delivery Hero went public, however its stock dipped again last week after GFG’s published results were less than appealing.

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Samwer remains confident in the firm’s future, saying that Rocket’s selected companies are “continuing to make progress on their path towards profitability, while demonstrating sustainable growth”. Rocket’s own results revealed an available gross cash position of €2.6bn as of this month, after a reported consolidated revenue of €10m in the first quarter.

HelloFresh reported strong revenue growth of 44 per cent to €296m in the first quarter of 2018, reducing its losses significantly with its adjusted Ebitda margin improving from -14.4 per cent in the same period last year to -7.3 per cent.

It is thought that the next Rocket-backed startup to go public might be African e-commerce group Jumia, which saw its gross merchandise volume rise 71 per cent to €151m and remains well funded.

Online home and living company Westwing also saw its revenue increase, rising up by 18.4 per cent to €71m and reporting its second consecutive profitable quarter

Samwer did however add that Rocket Internet may need to raise funds again within the next two years to support its journey.

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