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Rocket Internet-Backed Global Fashion Group Raises $364 Million

Rocket Internet SE, Germany’s highest-profile startup investor, contributed 68 million euros to a 330-million-euro funding round for its startup Global Fashion Group, completing a deal first announced in April.
Rocket Internet management board | Source: Courtesy
By
  • Bloomberg

BERLIN, Germany — Rocket Internet SE, Germany's highest-profile startup investor, contributed 68 million euros to a 330-million-euro ($364 million) funding round for its startup Global Fashion Group, completing a deal first announced in April.

The financing values Global Fashion Group at 1 billion euros, less than half what the holding was worth last year. Rocket said three months ago that it planned to invest more in the startup at the lower valuation.

As part of its investment, Rocket converted financing it had previously contributed to Global Fashion Group, leaving the Berlin-based company with a 20.4 percent holding. Demand from existing investors increased the amount of the round by 30 million euros from 300 million euros announced in April. Rocket held 23.2 percent of Global Fashion Group at Dec. 31, according to a company filing.

The 68 million euros doesn't include any investment by Rocket Internet Capital Partners, a related financing vehicle controlled by Rocket CEO Oliver Samwer. Rocket Internet Capital Partners also contributed to the latest Global Fashion round, as did Swedish investment firm Kinnevik AB.

The deal comes at a time when Germany’s highest-profile internet company is trying to prove life as a listed startup investor can pay off for its shareholders. Rocket, which holds dozens of startups in areas including food delivery, furniture and fashion, went public in 2014 but has seen its shares tumble 48 percent in the past year as some of its startups have faltered. Analysts have questioned its ability to wring profitable growth out of companies that operate in commodity sectors in unproven markets.

In May Rocket said it shrank first-quarter losses at some key startups by 40 million euros ($45 million) while its HelloFresh and Westwing businesses struggled in Germany.

Shares of Rocket fell 5.2 percent to 17.53 euros at 11:16 a.m. in Frankfurt Friday.

By Aaron Ricadela and Stefan Nicola; editors: Anthony Palazzo and Nate Lanxon.

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