Berlin-based startup investor Rocket Internet has secured a new global venture fund worth $1 billion, staking a claim for the largest ever tech venture capital investment in Europe.
The company itself committed 14% of that overall sum ($140 million), while the rest came from unnamed partners; a “diverse group of global investors” that according to Rocket include financial institutions, pension funds, asset managers, foundations and high net-worth individuals.
Dubbed the Rocket Internet Capital Partners (RICP), the new pool of funds will be channeled into supporting early and late stage investments, including some of the group’s own self-founded projects, with the core focus lying among e-commerce, fintech, travel, marketplace and software.
Although the company experienced an unstable year, Rocket’s CEO Oliver Samwer claims there’s no shortage of confidence going into 2017; “RICP, having reached the hard cap of $1 billion, shows the strong interest of leading investors, who share the enthusiasm for the attractive investment opportunity RICP presents.”
A rocky year
The massive new fund is a positive change of play for Rocket Internet, having experienced a shaky 2016 which saw it grabbing headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Fighting issues with lead investor Kinnivek over a decision to block the IPO listing of HelloFresh, the group suffered the departure of two members of its senior management team, all amid a continuing stock decline deriving from slow sales growth and a cooling interest for ad tech investment.
Despite the setbacks, however, the company cut losses, and investors still believe in Rocket Internet’s good record. RICP has come at a time when startup valuations globally are watched closely and it will enable Rocket Internet to carry on investing and growing, even during “times of insecurity.”
The company’s recent funding projects include supporting recruitment service Ushift, Global Fashion Group - an umbrella for several online fashion retailing properties - and CaterWings, a corporate catering service.
Earlier this month, Rocket Internet also made a contribution to a $100 million capital for Funding Circle, a P2P lending startup in London.