Rocket Internet’s Linio raises €25m from Colombian beer barons

Bogota
Bogota

Bogota

Rocket Internet’s Latin America Amazon Linio is continuing its fundraising run, with “up to €25m” from Colombia’s family-owned Santo Domingo Group.

The news follows €20m from Summit Partners and an “eight-digit euro” sum from the Tengelmann Group, bringing total funds raised to at least €55m since January.

The Santo Domingo Group – and the family of the same name who founded it – came to fame with Bavaria Brewery, a major beer-maker in Colombia that became a subsidiary of UK-headquartered multinational SABMiller in 2005. The group’s 14.1 per cent stake in SABMiller is worth about $11.2b, according to a recent article in Forbes.

The group, through publicly listed holding company Valorem (VALOREM:CB), also holds shares in many other companies and industries, including leading Colombian TV broadcaster Caracol, Cine Colombia, logistics company Suppla and packaging maker Biofilm. Half of the up to €25m investment in Linio will come through Valorem. 

Alejandro Santo Domingo DavilaThere’s already a Rocket Internet connection. The group’s 38-year-old heir Alejandro Santo Domingo Davila is both a board member at Valorem and a managing director at Quadrant Capital Advisors, which invested $32m in Rocket’s Dafiti in 2012.

While Linio also operates in México, Colombia and Venezuela, the new funds will go towards its growth in Colombia. The press release from Valorem cites studies by Forrester Research and Business Monitor International that suggest online business currently makes up less than two per cent of overall commerce in Colombia – that, plus a very young, urban population, leaves plenty of room for growth.

Image credit:
Bogota: flickr user Jorge Lascar
Alejandro Santo Domingo Davila: via SABMiller  

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