Rocket Internet, a German company that incubates technology startups, has announced that Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. will buy a 10% stake in the company for €333 million ($446 million).
The two companies said they would jointly develop mobile and online payment
technologies and services for emerging markets that haven’t yet gained access to electronic commerce – reports The Wall Street Journal.
Philippine Long Distance Chief Executive Napoleon L. Nazareno said the investment “demonstrates our commitment to the global Internet market and our belief in the powerful synergies between e-commerce and mobile payments, particularly in developing economies.”
Speculation has been rising for months that Rocket Internet was moving toward an initial public offering and the addition of the Philippine’s largest telecommunications company to Rocket Internet’s roster of investors could strengthen a valuation.
People familiar with the matter said that J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Berenberg Bank are working with Rocket to launch an IPO as early as next month and target a valuation of up to €5 billion.
Rocket Internet is also aiming for an IPO according to Frankfurt Boerse’s Entry Standard – the least rigorous transparency standard on offer and isn’t subject to EU regulations.
Founded in 2007 by German entrepreneur Oliver Samwer and his brothers Marc and Alexander, the company has fostered startups that copy successful business models from the U.S. and elsewhere, and transplants them to new markets.
Rocket companies operate in more than 100 countries, with a focus on emerging markets.
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