Rocket Internet prepares to open Amazon copycat in Kenya

Nina Fowler 2013-01-22 2

Jumia
Rocket Internet is preparing to open a new branch of Jumia, its Amazon copycat in the MENA region, in Kenya. 

So far, there’s only a pre-launch site in place and a Facebook page, established January 15. The new launch will follow Rocket’s recent roll-out of eBay copycat Kaymu in Nigeria.

Jumia is already active in Nigeria as well as Egypt and Morocco. Other Rocket Internet ventures in Africa include HelloFood (Ghana, Kenya, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Senegal) and Zando, Wimdu and Glossybox in South Africa. Both Jumia and Zando (an online fashion retailer) received funding from a round with JP Morgan late last year.

Nairobi

Rocket Internet and Millicom – requirement to launch new businesses in Africa?

The news shouldn’t come as a surprise. Berlin-headquartered company builder Rocket Internet, founded by the Samwer brothers in 2007, is known for its aggression and ambition, and currently spans over 50 portfolio companies in 40 countries.

There may also be contractual obligations at play. In August last year, Rocket Internet closed a deal with multinational telco Millicom International to sell a 20 per cent stake in each of its subsidiaries – Latin American Internet Holding (LIH) and Africa Internet Holding (AIH) for a combined cost of €85m. At the time of the deal, according to the press release from Millicom, both holding companies were “required to launch a number of new businesses in Latin America and Africa over the next three years”.

Millicom holds the option to acquire up to 100 per cent of both holding companies at fair market value by September 2016.

Image credit: Nairobi, by Flickr user afromusing 

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