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Rocket Internet’s Linio soaks up $50M to dominate Latin American e-commerce

This photo has nothing to do with e-commerce, but is cute and relates to Amazon.

Above: This photo has nothing to do with e-commerce, but is cute and relates to Amazon.

Image Credit: JulGlouton

Latin America’s version of the Amazon marketplace is thriving.

Linio, which positions itself as the ‘Amazon of Latin America,’ is soaking up $50 million in new funding to continue its growth. The e-commerce platform features a wide range of electronics, jewelry, toys, health and personal care, clothing, books, sporting equipment, and more.

People buy online at discounted prices, and the items are delivered to their door.

The Rocket Internet-backed venture claims to be the largest online store in Latin America and recently released a mobile app to capitalize on the popularity of mobile devices.

“A lot of people now have a smartphone but still don’t have a regular internet connection,” CEO Andreas Mjelde told VentureBeat. “This marks a step in Linio’s quest to make more products accessible to more people in Latin America. Our ambitions are to increase trust in m-commerce, to raise awareness for online shopping among Latin America’s population, and to provide the safest and most convenient online shopping service in Latin America.”

Rocket Internet is a Berlin-based incubator that raises hundreds of millions of dollars for “fast follow” e-commerce companies in emerging markets. The firm has produced clone versions of businesses in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and Latin America, and has seven ventures with a presence in Latin America.

Its founders, the Samwer brothers, are known for being “obsessively aggressive” and doing whatever it takes to gain dominance in a region, particularly those that are “ripe” for e-commerce.

Latin America’s Internet population grew faster than any other global region in the past year. Mobile phones are a significant driver of digital traffic, and online retail is also growing rapidly.

Mjelde said a fifth of Linio’s customers are already coming from mobile devices.

Latin Idea, a Mexico-based private equity fund, led this round, with participation from the JP Morgan Asset Management, Investment AB Kinnevik, the Tenglemann Group, Summit Partners, and Rocket Internet. It bring’s Linio’s total capital raised to over $75 million.

Linio is currently active in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela.