Another Rocket Internet-incubated e-commerce company gets a significant cash injection today: Linio, the so-called ‘Amazon of Latin America’, has raised a €20 million (~$26.5m) round from previous backer Summit Partners. It’s also the second investment for Linio this month after German retail company Tengelmann Group announced it had invested a “8-digit Euro sum”, reportedly somewhere in the €15-20m range.
Its other previous backers are AB Kinnevik, and J.P Morgan Asset Management, along with the Samwers brothers’ own startup factor, Rocket Internet. The new funds are said to be used for further growth in Latin America where the company already operates in Colombia, México, Peru and Venezuela.
Claiming to be Latin America’s “largest, fastest-growing e-commerce retailer”, similar to Amazon, Linio sells a range of goods online in various product categories such as technology, entertainment, home, babies & toys, books, office accessories, and personal care products. The company only launched in Spring 2012, but in typical Rocket style it’s stepped on the gas extremely aggressively, fuelled by plenty of capital, to make a land grab in Latin America. This isn’t so much about German-style cloning as it is about investing heavily in an emerging market where Amazon hasn’t already taken the throne, and potentially aping the e-commerce giant by doing so.
It also follows a now familiar Rocket Internet blueprint — take a proven model, apply it to an untapped market, move at extreme speed, and raise huge amounts of capital to fuel that execution. As recently as January, another Rocket company, Lazada, which is a Southeast Asia-based online marketplace akin to — unsurprisingly — Amazon, scored a round funding from Tengelmann, which we pegged as close to the $20 million mark. Lazada shares other investors with Linio, too. In December 2012, it raised $26 million from Summit Partners. Just one month before that it raised $40 million from Kinnevik.