The Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG) made an ambitious announcement today that it would launch one new company every three months. German internet platform Rocket Internet and Qatari telecommunications provider Ooredoo conceived APACIG in early 2014 in order to build top internet companies in the region.
As the part of this plan, the maiden launch will be of online beauty and wellness marketplace, Vaniday, in Australia. First launched in Brazil, Vaniday allows customers to explore a curated selection of offers and book treatments such as massages, hair appointments and manicures.
“We are operating in diverse markets – from highly developed ones such as Singapore and Australia to rising stars such as Myanmar and Pakistan. Our portfolio of companies fits the macroeconomic trends of different regions and the demand for new online businesses,” Hanno Stegmann, CEO of APACIG, said.
APACIG already unites 14 Rocket Internet ventures operating across 15 countries. It began its India journey by investing $4.5 Mn in Rocket Internet-backed printing solutions startup PrintVenue.
Rocket Internet was founded in 2007 by the Samwer brothers – Marc, Oliver and Alexander. It declares its mission to become the world’s largest Internet platform outside of the United States and China, and works toward this mission by identifying and building proven internet business models and replicating them to new, underserved or untapped markets.
The Indian ventures backed by Rocket Internet are Jabong, FabFurnish, FoodPanda, Printvenue, OfficeYes, and Heaven and Home (which was merged into FabFurnish). They also reportedly back Vyomo.
After having raised $100 Mn from British development finance institution CDC and others in February 2015, fashion and lifestyle online retailer Jabong has been merged with Global Fashion Group (GFG). GFG is collaboration of five Kinnevik and Rocket Internet-backed online fashion startups. It raised $168 Mn from existing investors AB Kinnevik and Rocket Internet in July this year. Jabong is also on the verge of a major organizational rejig with its CEO Arun Chandra Mohan and managing director Praveen Sinha being replaced.
Recently, FabFurnish adopted a content-driven platform for discovery and sale of curated home products. Earlier this year, the company’s founding members Vikram Chopra and Mehul Agrawal quit their positions. They were replaced by Ankita Dabas Kohli as the CEO of the company.
Last month, the co-founder and managing director at Foodpanda India, Rohit Chadda, stepped down as MD of the company to pursue new initiatives. He, however, continues to be a shareholder in the company.
This year FoodPanda has raised $210 Mn – $110 Mn in first round of Series E funding from Rocket Internet AG and $100 Mn in another round of Series E funding from Goldman Sachs and Rocket Internet AG.