9. September 2013–
A few media outlets reported last month that Finn Haensel, co-founder of Rocket Internet's fashion retailer The Iconic in Australia, would return to Germany. Now, it's clear where he's ended up – CMO at ProSiebenSat.1's new company builder Epic Companies in Berlin.
Epic Companies – founded by fellow ex-Rocket directors Mato Peric and Uli Erxleben – opened in February with a initial focus on eCommerce companies in Europe. It's at least the second company builder in Berlin founded by ex-Rocket employees, behind Project A.
Haensel told Smart Company that he decided to leave The Iconic for family reasons and will remain an investor in the company. In an email to colleagues in mid-August, he wrote:
“As many of you know, it was a personal decision that I only wanted to be in Australia for an additional one to two years. However, for me it was especially important that I leave the company at the right time. That time is now, when we are in a phase of strength with our recent investment, our new TV campaign and the right leadership in place for transition.”
Staff members put together a magazine for the 31-year-old as a parting gift (pictured above), with inside jokes giving a nod to Game of Thrones, acapella singing and German efficiency ("word hard, play hard").
The Iconic, which started up in late 2011, had grown to 350 employees by the end of 2012, apparently bringing in nearly 5000 orders per day during the peak pre-Christmas period. It raised AU$28m from Verlinvest with participation from existing investors AB Kinnevik (Rocket’s biggest investor) and Summit Partners in July.
The company also drew negative attention for an initial $14m in losses over 18 months (which co-founder Adam Jacobs told Australia's Financial Review Sunday was to be expected at this stage of growth) and a series of staff cutbacks, which saw the team drop to a workforce of less than 300 people by June.