Summary:

The Berlin clone factory rakes in the cash, but from whom? We take an initial look at the the sources of Rocket’s fuel.

samwers-tall

Cloning may annoy a lot of people, but it’s profitable and attracts funding accordingly. Berlin’s Rocket Internet is a case in point, with investments constantly pouring in for the many, many properties set up by the Samwer brothers.

The latest gossip, which the incubator-cum-accelerator will unsurprisingly not discuss, is that billionaire Leonard Blavatnik has put $200m into Rocket via his Access Industries vehicle.

While it would hardly be the first investment by Access in a Samwer vehicle — Blavatnik has previously shored up GlossyBox (a BirchBox clone), Pinspire (do I even need to name the original site?) and WestWing — but it would be the chunkiest yet.

And, if the unnamed sources being quoted in the Venture Village report are on the money, it may take Rocket up to at least $590m in their quest to build a billion dollar round. Sweden’s Kinnevik has put $390m into Rocket and its portfolio companies and got 25 percent of Rocket’s shares in the deal, according to Q1 results revealed in April.

Of course, not everyone’s happy to have the Samwer association. Their abrasive style was rumored to be behind Russian investor Yuri Milner’s decision to walk away from the current round.

With a company as secretive as Rocket is, it’s probably not possible to track every investment. And some deals get announced without a specific figure. But here’s what we know (or are led to believe) has come in this year alone:

• Access Industries – $200m in May
• Access Industries – 7% stake, undisclosed value, in GlossyBox in March
• Kennevik – $390m in Q1
• DST (Yuri Milner) – 4% stake, undisclosed value, in Zalando in February
• eVenture Capital Partners and New Enterprise Associates – undisclosed stake in Dropgifts

We’ll update this list as we learn more…

Comments have been disabled for this post