ROCKET INTERNET IS PREPARING TO GO PUBLIC. I am officially going on the record as the first individual to break this news. According to credible sources that are close to the company, the clone factory led by the infamous Samwer brothers is preparing to raise capital in a public offering. This is a mega-event that will send shock waves throughout the startup world. It is not very surprising, and others have commented on this possibility before. But it certainly holds significant implications for venture capital firms, startups, and entrepreneurship ecosystems the world over. In a follow-up post, I will provide an initial analysis of what this news heralds for the developed as well as emerging market tech worlds. But here is what I know at the moment:
- JP Morgan is the favorite to lead the deal as Advisor to Rocket Internet. This makes sense given JP’s track record as a capital provider to Rocket’s clone portfolio.
- Ernst & Young will serve as auditor for most of the LatAm ventures.
- PWC will serve as auditor for the Brazilian entities (Dafiti foremost amongst them)
- No word yet as to who will audit the Southeast Asian startups
- No information as to the size of the raise, although it is likely to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars
- Pricing not likely to occur for some time
Make no mistake. This is a big deal. Big payday for the Samwers. Seismic shift in the way we think about venture formation in emerging markets. Even bigger threat for developed-world startup founders. Massive credibility boost for the company belittled as a soulless imitators of other’s genuine innovation. I will follow up shortly with additional thoughts and perspectives, so stay tuned!