Failure to launch: Germany’s Rocket Internet goes public, shares drop 14%

Keg rocket

Massive German startup factory Rocket Internet went public today and reactions haven’t exactly been enthusiastic. Shortly after its shares first started trading, the company’s valuation dropped a massive 14%. This being one of Europe’s biggest IPOs in over a decade, it might spell worry for the German tech scene.

As reported by Reuters, Rocket Internet’s stock opened at €42.50, and immediately fell to €38.00 when it started trading. It then started a steady climb to €41.40.

The company’s IPO valued the company at €6.7-billion, or roughly US$8.4-billion. This is Europe’s largest tech IPO in fourteen years, and the heady days of the dotcom bubble.

The massive incubator has been responsible for scores of tech startups across the globe, most found in emerging markets. Founded in 2007, Rocket Internet today employs more than 20 000 people across a network of companies which operates in more than 100 countries on five continents.

Its founders, the Samwer brothers, haven’t achieved this degree of success without controversy however. Rocket Internet has long been criticized for cloning other successful startups like Groupon, Amazon and Aibnb.

The popular ecommerce outfit — and Rocket’s flagship, Zolando — also went public earlier this week, valued at US$6.6-billion. As was the case with its incubator, investors were initially skittish. The fashion giant’s shares were priced at €21.50 each but remained unchanged after the first day of trading.



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