Tengelmann Group invests millions in Rocket Internet’s Linio



Linio, Rocket Internet’s Amazon copycat in Latin America, today announced an “eight digit euro” investment from German retail giant Tengelmann. 

The deal follows Tengelmann’s investment of a similar sum into Lazada, Linio’s sister company in Asia. Both sell a range of electronics, books and household goods online.

Berlin-headquartered company builder Rocket Internet – founded by the Samwer brothers in 2007 – spans over 50 portfolio companies in over 40 countries. The company builder is best known for copying successful US eCommerce models (Zappos, eBay, Amazon) and rolling them out aggressively in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America. Other ventures include new mobile payment operator Payleven and food delivery service Foodpanda, which expanded into 12 new emerging markets last week. 

The Linio group – Linio Mexico, Linio Colombia, Linio Venezuela and Linio Peru – started up in 2012. According to LinkedIn, the group employs at least 50 people in Colombia, at least 500 in Mexico and between 11-50 in Venezuela and Peru.

Today’s press release claims rapid growth in the last quarter of 2012, attributed to special offer days (“Cybermonday” in Colombia) with “exceptional” discounts:

Through the introduction of those special offer days, Linio [Colombia] was able to increase its sales during Cybermonday and the end of 2012 by 70 per cent. Also, the number of received orders increased even by 91 per cent.”

Vagn KnudsenThe company’s ambitions are plain: “This investment, together with the wide knowledge that the Tengelmann Group has about retailing, will help us to continue to position LINIO as the most important e-commerce company in Colombia,” Linio Colombia general manager Vagn Knudsen (pictured right) said.

Linio’s previous investors include Summit Partners, Swedish investment bank AB Kinnevik (Rocket’s principal investor), and JP Morgan Asset Management, whose recent spate of investments in Rocket Internet companies is linked to rumours of a pending IPO

The family-owned Tengelmann Group, owner of DIY store OBI and supermarket Kaiser’s among others, is an established investor in internet companies. The group’s investments in Germany through holding company Tengelmann Ventures include a range of other Rocket Internet ventures, plus Delivery Hero, Hitfox, SumUp, TradeMob and Coffee Circle.

Image credit: Bogota, by Flickr user szeke


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