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[liberationtech] Does anyone have experience with Rocket Internet?

Yosem Companys companys at
Fri Feb 24 12:01:50 PST 2012

There seem to be some doubts within the development community as to Rocket
Internet's legitimacy and ethics (or lack thereof) of its business
practices (see below).




--------- Forwarded message ----------

From: *Blair Blackwell* <blair_blackwell at>
Date: Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 4:34 PM
Subject: Start-up opportunities in Cape Town

Hi All,


This came up on the careers list and wanted to flag it.  ****


*E-Commerce Job Opportunities: Rocket Internet - Cape Town, South


anthony.vita at****


Feb 21 2012 1:53AM****

Rocket Internet (, a German Internet focused
Venture Capital/Incubator firm, is hiring across the board for an e-commerce
venture based out of Cape Town, South Africa called Zando (
Zando is a very young, but highly ambitious startup aimed at creating
Sub-Saharan Africa's largest and most comprehensive e-commerce platform.
Over the past several years, Rocket has built some of the world's most
successful internet platforms (incl. Groupon International, Zalando, Wimdu).
We have over 60 companies in our portfolio and are present in more than 40
countries. Positions at Zando are available across all functions in
Strategy, Supply Chain, Buying, Marketing, IT, Finance, Production and all
development levels up to top management.

Ideal candidates would have either relevant industry, consulting, investment
banking or other operating experience, however, any highly motivated and
qualified candidates would be considered. If you know of anyone who might be
interested in this international opportunity, please have them contact me at
anthony.vita at

I will be in NYC on Thursday and Friday for meetings and would be happy meet
quickly with anyone in Manhattan who might be interested in learning more,
as well. Thank you.


Anthony Vita '06
VP Operations****

On Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM, Finney, Carol <Carol_Finney at>

This came to me from a trusted source:**** ****

FYI, There are some Caveats for working with Rocket Internet, i heard (my
sources from a friend in INSEAD and a personal meeting with them last week)
that they use one of the employees as a so claimed "founder" and they
register the company under his name for some time to avoid taxes and legal
liability. They pay relatively well, but their ethics and practices
are sometimes in question, especially in developing countries, and they
burn their employees with work load (think of the work starting your
own company without the equity reward).****




Carol J. Finney****

Director, MPA/ID Program * John F. Kennedy School of Government * 79 JFK
Street * Cambridge, MA  02138 * USA****

*Sent:* Friday, February 24, 2012 1:17 PM
*To:* Finney, Carol
*Subject:* Re: more info about e-commerce start-up in Cape Town****

** **

Hi Carol,****

** **

How are you doing? Hope all is well. This message caught my attention and I
would like to chip in my 2 cents for the benefits of all other IDs.****

** **

I was approached before by Rocket Internet (twice, at different points in
time) to set up office and act as CEO/MD for Malaysia and subsequently
Indonesia. Given my involvement in the venture space, I would say that they
are not a scam for sure. However, as what was rightly pointed out, they are
aggressively expanding their presence across certain markets, including
developing countries. They tend to target young, bright Ivy or other brand
name grads with some experience in that space to quickly set up local
offices as "founders" and recruit other people. I certainly have doubts
about their strategy as being sound and couldn't agree more on the risks
and potential of crashing and burning out easily, given the relatively
inexperienced team they are going to get as a startup.****

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