Deals

Rocket Internet’s The Iconic raises $25.8M to conquer the Australian market

Image Credit: gmetrail/Flickr

Rocket Internet’s The Iconic has raised $25.8 million ($28 million AUD) to cement its position as Australia’s leading online fashion retailer.

The Iconic is a straightforward e-commerce company. It sells apparel, shoes, accessories, and and beauty products for women, men, and children with flexible return policies and reasonably priced shipping. The inventory includes over 500 brands and 45,000 products, and features a mix of luxury and casual goods.

The site now attracts 4 million visitors per month and is growing quickly, but is not yet profitable. A report in Australia’s Financial Review said the company has lost $14 million and recently cut down on its workforce. However it can often take online businesses a few years to reach profitability. Rocket Internet’s strategy is to get a startup to number one status in a given market and throw money at it to quash the competition.

Rocket Internet has a portfolio packed with well-funded e-commerce companies from around the world. The incubator is run by the infamous Samwer Brothers who clone successful business models like Groupon, Amazon and Zappos in international markets. Rocket companies tend to raise hefty amounts of venture capital and grow rapidly — Brazilian e-commerce site Dafiti has raised $180 in the past two years, and in the past few months along “Amazon of Asia” Lazada raised $100 million, Zappos-like fashion site for Southeast Asia Zalora raised $100 million, and a Russian e-commerce startup Lamoda raised a whopping $130 million. And those are just the $100 million + deals. “Amazon of Africa” Jumia raised $26 million in March, Middle Eastern fashion retailer Namshi raised $13 million in May, and in October 2012 Europe’s Zalando raised $53 million and South Africa’s Zando raised $26 million. 

That’s nearly $600 million raised for fashion retail in the past year.

With The Iconic, Rocket has an Australian outpost and now has a presence on five continents. Australia’s e-commerce sales reached a record high in 2012 and is expected to double in 2013. It is a hot market and Rocket, as well as other investors, are poised and ready to capitalize on those Australian dollars. Belgian holding company Verlinvest led tho round, with participation from existing investors AB Kinnevik and Summit Partners which frequently invest in Rocket companies. This follows a previous $48.5 million round. The Iconic was founded in 2011 and is based in Sydney Australia.