The last time I met Foodpanda Asia CEO Kiren Tanna, fittingly over lunch, the food delivery service hadn’t raised money and kept a lower profile compared to Zalora and Lazada, which combined have raised over USD 100M in funding.
On all counts, Foodpanda has a smaller footprint: It doesn’t hire as much, is a relatively younger business, and probably makes much less in revenue despite having a presence in eight Asian countries.
But to dismiss it as an inconsequential business would be a mistake: It recently raised USD 26M from Rocket Internet regular Kinnevik, Russia’s Phenomen Ventures, as well as Rocket Internet itself.
Foodpanda Singapore then announced a marketing partnership with RedMart.com, an up-and-coming online grocer, while FoodPanda Vietnam revealed that it will be delivering food for some prominent F&B brands, including Subway, NYDC, Gloria Jean’s Coffee, and Breaktalk.
The coordination of these news releases portray Foodpanda as an up-and-comer. While it’s easy to be cynical, that picture may not be too far from the truth. Read more
Self-billed “Asia’s biggest online fashion store”, Zalora had a net negative income of almost EUR 70M (USD 91M) in 2012. In an apparently confidential Income Statement 2012-2017 for investors, we now know that Zalora Southeast Asia made EUR 48M (USD 62.5M) in revenues (after returns and cancellations) in 2012 (thus we are enlightened on their “annualized double-digit million USD revenues” that is in their “About ZALORA” in press releases pretty much everywhere, SGE’s previous estimate of USD 75M wasn’t too off), projects profitability from somewhere in 2015, and aims to reach total revenues of EUR 1 billion (USD 1.3B) sometime in 2016.
These numbers are based on 8 (current) markets (no word of potential future markets), mostly desktop shopping for the last year since Zalora launched in early 2012, with mobile commerce to increase with launches of native mobile apps (iOS last week, Android later in the future) and the rising trend of mobile usage in Asia (see below).
German magazine Manager Magazin published the document online and parts of the Zalora Income Statement for 2012-2017 can be seen here: Read more
News has hit this week that Indonesia has become the new battleground for beauty box companies — a type of subscription service where customers receive a box of cosmetics samples on a monthly basis.
Singapore’s VanityTrove is believed to be the first to enter the country, followed closely behind by Lolabox, started by two former Rocket Internet employees, and BeautyTreats. Both competitors launched officially yesterday to much fanfare from the tech press.
While their entry into Indonesia is good news for consumers who have been clamoring for such services in the country, there are legitimate reasons to be skeptical about their success.
It all starts with the fact that Rocket Internet’s very own GlossyBox has avoided Indonesia and its surrounding countries like a plague. Read more
While rumors have been circulating about Zalora exiting Taiwan, Rocket Internet SEA’s co-founder Stefan Jung has clarified that the company will not shut down its operations. He explained the company’s position on stage at Startup Asia, a tech startup conference in Singapore.
Instead, it will shift part of its operations to Singapore, and run its Taiwan company more as a remote business in a similar vein to its Hong Kong operations.
According to Stefan, Rocket Internet’s macro view on Taiwan is not as strong as larger markets like Indonesia and China, which explains why Glossybox Taiwan, Rocket Internet’s Birchbox clone, has also exited from the country. Read more
This article was written after substantial discussions with Bernard Leong.
Rocket Internet appears to be in transition. According to Business Insider, the clone factory has not been churning out copies of US startups for months, opting instead to consolidate its existing ventures and build on them.
With the Samwer brothers’ new USD 193M fund, we might even see Rocket Internet source for its own dealflow rather than copy successful US consumer internet companies.
As for its existing businesses, building them towards a public offering suddenly becomes a viable option — if done right, the Samwer brothers could end up becoming far wealthier than they already are now.
Rocket Internet is unlikely to go public with its entire suite of ventures. That would severely handcuff the company, curbing its ability to start new businesses without incurring shareholder’s wrath. Read more
Zalora, a Rocket Internet fashion online retailer, announced today that it has raised EUR 20M (USD 26M) in investment from Tengelmann, a German retail company.
It also revealed that it has set up a regional software development center in Singapore, and is currently achieving double digit millions USD in annualized revenue.
Tengelmann is no stranger to Rocket Internet companies. In January this year, it invested about USD 20M in Lazada, an Amazon-like e-commerce site. Both Lazada and Zalora are active in the region, with the latter serving eight markets in Asia-Pacific and stocking over 500 brands and 20,000 product variations. Read more
FoodPanda, a Rocket Internet online food delivery company, has launched a new mobile app for iOS and Android.
The app allows users to filter restaurants by location and order food using their mobile phones. They can also see details like minimum order required, delivery fee, and delivery time.
It is available for download in 14 countries: India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal and Russia. Read more
Following an announcement of its expansion into Taiwan, Singapore’s VanityTrove has today revealed that it has acquired Glossybox Taiwan for an undisclosed sum. For Glossybox, a Rocket Internet company, this move completes its exit from several countries in the region in order to focus its efforts on larger markets in Europe and North Asia.
Both Glossybox and VanityTrove are subscription commerce companies modeled after Birchbox. Every month, they deliver ‘beauty boxes’ containing cosmetic samples to subscribers, while at the same time acting as a marketing platform for cosmetic brands. Read more
Lazada, Rocket Internet’s Amazon clone which is active in Southeast Asia, announced yesterday that it has received an investment from German retail group Tengelmann, a regular Rocket Internet investor. According to TechCrunch, the funding amount is close to USD 20M.
The e-commerce company has been raising money at a furious clip. In September last year, it received an estimated USD 50M to USD 100M from investment bank JP Morgan. This was followed by USD 40M from Swedish investment firm Kinnevik and another USD 26M from Summit Partners. Read more
Glossybox, a beauty box clone by Rocket Internet, is by many metrics a wild success. The subscription commerce company recently revealed that it had shipped 2 million boxes to customers in its first 1.5 years of operations. To date, it has raised USD 72.3M from Holtzbrinck Ventures, Kinnevik and Rocket Internet itself.
Two million boxes is a whole lot of revenue. Here’s a back-of-the-envelope calculation: Assuming every subscriber has signed up for Glossybox’s recurring 3-month package for one year — the company would easily pocket an annual revenue of about USD 26M.
||What is subscription commerce?
||A new e-commerce model where consumers typically pay subscription fees to have products sent to their doorsteps on a regular basis.
There are a couple of catches though. First, we don’t know what Glossybox’s global operating costs and profits are. It could be that the venture is in the red since it would have pumped tons of money into global expansion just to get to its market-leading position.
Second, Glossybox has had some missteps. Namely, it entered Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Australia, only to withdraw after realizing the markets aren’t as plump as it thought they would be. Apparently, the Samwer Brothers are capable of misjudgments. Read more