Rocket claims three of its startups are taking-off

Funny_Pictures_55117While most of its internet startups are losing money faster than a Taliban hairdresser, German ecommerce outfit Rocket Internet said it was on track to make three of its startups profitable by the end of 2017.

The company said its reported revenue rose 69 percent in 2015 to $2.70 billion.

While all of its startups are still loss-making, Rocket said it saw an improvement in their adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margin of an average 6 percentage points in 2015.

It reiterated that 2015 should represent the peak of the losses of its major startups and repeated a target that three of those firms should be profitable by the end of 2017.

Rocket was founded in Berlin by Oliver, Alexander and Marc Samwer in 2007 and has set up dozens of ecommerce sites, aiming to replicate the success of Amazon and Alibaba in new markets in Africa, Latin America and Russia.

However it has seen its stock slump since it listed in Frankfurt in October 2014 on investor concern that all its leading start-ups are still making heavy losses.

This week it sold a stake in one of those making the heaviest losses – Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada Group – to Alibaba.

Among its 14 biggest start-ups, Rocket Internet highlighted Middle East online fashion site Namshi and home furnishings retailer Westwing as making big strides toward profitability.

“Ready to cook” meal delivery firm HelloFresh is likely to get a stock market listing and African online retailer Jumia is seeing sales increase of 118 percent respectively.

As a result Rocket has 1.8 billion euro in the bank at the end of 2015 and access to co-investment capital from a fund it set up in January, which it said now had commitments of $742 million, up from a previous $420 million.