Rocket Internet Turns to U.S. With Major New Fund

(Bloomberg) -- Rocket Internet SE, the European public company that creates and invests in tech startups, is working to raise a new billion-dollar fund, a significant amount of which will eventually be invested in the U.S., according to a person familiar with the situation.

The Berlin-based firm will be the lead investor in the fund, but is looking for other licensed partners to join. The fund will be between $1 billion and $2 billion and Rocket could close it as soon as December, the person said, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

A spokeswoman from Rocket Internet declined to comment.

Rocket Internet’s share price has been climbing steadily over the last year as some of its key investments, such as food delivery company Delivery Hero AG and meal kit provider HelloFresh SE begin to find success. Long known as a startup factory that ported business models from the U.S. into Europe -- with varying degrees of achievement -- Rocket is now looking at investing in firms that “can be No. 1 in the U.S.,” Chief Executive Officer Oliver Samwer told shareholders at a company meeting last month.

Don Stalter, a former Airbnb executive, and Soheil Mirpour, who worked in banking at Morgan Stanley and private equity at KKR, will lead the U.S. investment arm, the person said.

The funding will add to an existing $1 billion fund Rocket closed at the end of 2016.

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