Venture Beat, a Tech Blog company, published a list of unicorn startups in worldwide
(http://venturebeat.com/2016/01/18/there-are-now-229-unicorn-startups-with-175b-in-funding-and-1-3b-valuation/). There are 6 in Germany which are “Hello Fresh”, “Zalando”, “Home24”, “Auto1”, “Delivery Hero” and “Rocket Internet”.
However, according to the official website of Rocket Internet (https://www.rocket-internet.com/companies), surprisingly, most German unicorn companies I mentioned before are invested and built by Rocket Internet such as Hello Fresh, Delivery Hero and Home 24.
Sam Parr, one of the columnists of theHustle.co said, “Rocket Internet is one of the most hated yet successful tech companies in the world” (http://thehustle.co/rocket-internet-oliver-samwer) because the strategy of Rocket Internet for building companies is to copy successful business models from Silicon Valley. And the slogan displayed on the homepage of the official website of Rocket Internet is “To Become the World’s Largest Internet Platform Outside the United States and China”. In this way, Rocket Internet actually is a startup factory company which builds and invests other startups.
Image from https://www.rocket-internet.com/
How Rocket Internet Established
The founder of Rocket Internet, Oliver Samwer, holds a degree from WHU. “Upon graduation, Oliver, and his two brothers founded Alando.de in 1999. After the sale of Alando.de to eBay Inc., he was Managing Director of eBay, responsible for Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. In 2000, Oliver and his two brothers founded Jamba! AG, which was acquired by Verisign Inc. in 2004” (https://www.rocket-internet.com/about), I believe that the experience of establishing Alando gave Oliver a formula which can clone and develop startups quickly.
Then, in 2007, he founded a startup factory, Rocket Internet, to help startups grow at a high speed such as three years compare to ten years normally.
Let’s watch a Rocket Internet film.
Focus on Internet Business
According to the film, the main business that companies invested by Rocket Internet’s focus is the online business such as online finance, E-commerce, and online marketplaces. “5.4 billion consumers outside the United States and China = 75% of global population = 74% mobile users in the world.”
Usually, in the period of coping, Rocket Internet will provide a wider service range than the original product and spend a huge amount of money on Google Ads as long as the project still has capital left in order to attract consumers (https://www.huxiu.com/article/139124/1.html).
The running and managing way of Rocket Internet is totally like an assembly line. The only thing they are pursuing is efficiency which can grow a project in a short period and then sell it to the original company to make money.