Even a year after the company went public, it can still be difficult at times to judge the progress of Berlin-based Rocket Internet.
Certainly, it’s moving fast and placing some big bets. But is its factory-like approach to creating startups — based on what it calls “proven business models” — a winner?
Probably still too early for a final judgment. But in the company’s favor, it reported earnings today which indicate that the value of its so-called “proven winners” jumped about $4 billion from the same period a year ago, or 38 percent.
That’s certainly a healthy jump. That increase was driven in large measure by the massive investments Rocket is making in food-related startups.
In particular, the company reported that HelloFresh grew its revenues in the first half of 2015 to $126 million, up 408 percent from the same period a year ago.
HelloFresh, the Berlin-based company that delivers meal kits and recipes to subscribers, recently announced that it had raised another $85 million in venture capital at a $2.9 billion valuation.
Rocket also has a 30 percent stake in Delivery Hero, the Berlin-based ecommerce startup that facilitates delivery from local restaurants. Delivery Hero is part of Rocket’s Global Online Takeaway Group and saw a 154 percent increase in revenue the first half of this year, according to Rocket.
That Takeaway group also includes the Rocket-backed Foodpanda, which is focused in large part on Asia. Foodpanda reported revenues that increased to $14.6 million during the first six months, an increase of more than 1,000 percent.
In addition, Rocket’s Global Fashion Group, which includes five online fashion firms in developing markets, reported revenues that rose 63 percent to $470 million.
But, as Reuters notes here regarding Rocket’s top portfolio companies: “they all continued to make hefty losses.”
So, the challenge remains For Rocket to show that beyond driving rapid scale and increasing valuations, its model can also build sustainable, profitable businesses for the long run.