Summary:

The Swedish investor has become a new backer of Billpay, a Samwer brothers operation and PayPal rival that’s talking expansion – but what kind?

Kinnevik CEO Mia Brunell Livfors & chairman Cristina Stenbeck

Of Rocket Internet’s many ventures, Billpay is one of the quieter ones, largely because it only operates in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. But it’s an operation that’s clearly building up strength.

Billpay offers secure payment facilities for e-commerce stores, of which Rocket itself has many. And yes, it’s a clone of sorts, aping PayPal’s BillMeLater. Now the company’s latest financing round has brought on board an investor that’s fast becoming a familiar face round Rocket’s parts: Sweden’s Kinnevik. The exact figure hasn’t been disclosed, but it’s in the millions.

There have been ties between Kinnevik and the Samwer brothers for some time, as both used to be neck-deep in Groupon (Marc Samwer left his post as Groupon’s international chief in April, and Kinnevik sold its stake this month), but they seem to be getting constantly closer.

Kinnevik put $390 million into Rocket and its portfolio in the first quarter of this year alone. Then it participated in a $50 million round for interiors site Westwing earlier this month, alongside another Rocket regular, Holtzbrinck Ventures. Now the gang’s all back together for Billpay’s round.

We are pleased that we were able to broaden our investor base to Kinnevik,” Billpay CEO Nelson Holzner said. “We will use the new, significant resources to accelerate our growth.”

Growth doesn’t necessarily mean expansion into other countries, of course. After all, just weeks ago Billpay expanded its product portfolio to include a credit card and customer loyalty program – that alone warranted newer, bigger offices.

But this is Rocket we’re talking about, so expansion out of the German-speaking market would come as no surprise. And neither would further co-investments by the Samwers, Kinnevik and Holtzbrinck.

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