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As it delists, Rocket Internet’s ill-fated experiment with public markets is over

It was all supposed to be so different. When Rocket Internet IPO’d in 2014 it was the largest tech company floatation in Europe for seven years. A year later it had lost $46 million and its valuation had dropped by 30%. Since then the German startup factory behind internet companies such as Delivery Hero, Zalando and Jumia has languished, in part because the reason for its existence — to provide growth capital for “rocket-fueled” startups — has ebbed away, as the tech market was flooded with capital in recent years. Today the company said it was delisting its shares from the Frankfurt and Luxembourg Stock Exchanges for just that reason.

Rocket’s market value has fallen from its high of 6.7 billion euros ($8 billion) on the day of its IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange to just 2.6 billion euros and is now offering investors 18.57 euros ($22.23) for each of their shares, lower than Monday’s closing price of 18.95 euros.

The company said it was “better positioned as a company not listed on a stock exchange” as this would allow it to focus on long-term bets.

In a statement, the company said: “The use of public capital markets as a financing source as essential [sic] parameter for maintaining a stock exchange listing is no longer required and adequate access to capital is secured outside the stock exchange. Outside a capital markets environment, the Company will be able to focus on a long-term development irrespective of temporary circumstances capital markets tend to put emphasis on.”

Delisting, it said, will also reduce operational complexity when setting up new companies, “freeing up administrative and management capacity and reducing costs.”

Its investment division, Global Founders Capital, and CEO Oliver Samwer, will retain their stakes of 45.11% and 4.53% respectively, meaning the virtual shareholder meeting on Sept. 24 to ask for shareholder approval to delist will largely be a formality. It has also launched a separate buyback program to secure 8.84% of its shares from the stock market. Although the decision to delist makes sense, smaller shareholders will be burned, especially as Rocket is using its own cash for the buyback.

The bets Rocket took, however, have of course paid off. For some. According to Forbes, Samwer and his brothers and co-founders Alexander and Marc are worth at least $1.2 billion each.

The Berlin -based firm became quickly known as a “clone factory” after Samwer famously conceded during his Ph.D. that Silicon Valley had got innovation wrong by coming up with new ideas, and the “innovation” would simply be to make existing models more efficient. The fact those existing models were usually dreamt up by other people never seemed to phase him.

Almost like clockwork Rocket produced clones of Amazon, Uber, Uber Eats and Airbnb. Its defense for this rapacious strategy was that it was simply adapting proven models for other markets.

Rocket would say it was merely adapting proven models for untapped local markets. Of course, the kicker was usually that the company would either scale faster globally than the original U.S.-based startup, thus forcing some kind of acquisition, or that it would have its clones IPO faster. It did however produce some big, global, companies, even if they were not particularly original, including e-commerce firm Zalando, food delivery service Delivery Hero and meal-kit provider HelloFresh .

There have been successes. Jumia, the African e-commerce company, listed in April last year and when Rocket sold its stake earlier this year, it contributed to Rocket’s net cash position of €1.9 billion at the end of April.

But it has not benefitted from the recent stock market rally for tech companies, as it is overly exposed to e-commerce rather than pandemic-proof companies like Zoom .

For nostalgia’s sake, here’s that interview I did with Oliver Samwer in 2015, just one more time.

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The coronavirus pandemic is expanding California’s digital divide

If every California student without an adequate internet connection got together and formed a state, it would contain more residents than Idaho or Hawaii.

A total of 1,529,000 K-12 students in California don’t have the connectivity required for adequate distance learning.

Analysis from Common Sense Media also revealed that students lacking adequate connection commonly lack an adequate device as well. The homework gap that separates those with strong connections from those on the wrong side of the digital divide will become a homework chasm without drastic and immediate intervention.

To raise awareness of the enormity and immediacy of the digital divide, I started No One Left Offline (NOLO) in San Francisco. It’s an all-volunteer nonprofit that’s creating a coalition of Bay Area organizations focused on giving students, seniors and individuals with disabilities access to high-speed, affordable Internet.

During the week of July 27, the NOLO coalition will launch the Bridge the Divide campaign to raise $50,000 in funds that will be used to directly cover broadband bills for families on the edge of the digital divide.

At this point in our response to COVID-19, emergency measures have only stopped the homework gap from growing rather than actually shrinking it. That’s precisely why we need a new form of addressing students’ lack of adequate internet and devices. The digital “haves” should embrace directly covering the broadband bills and upgrades required by the “have nots.” This form of direct giving is both the most effective and efficient means of giving every student high-speed internet and a device to make the most of that connection.

But too few people are aware of just how dire life can be on the wrong side of the digital divide. That’s why I’m hoping you — as a fellow member of the digital “haves” — will join me in taking a day off(line) on July 17. I’m convinced that it will take a day (if not more) in the digital dark for more Americans to recognize just how difficult it is to thrive, let alone survive, without stable internet, a device and a sufficient level of digital literacy.

The increased attention to the digital divide generated by this day off(line) will spur a more collective and significant response to stopping the formation of a homework chasm.

Current efforts to close the homework gap have at once been laudable and limited. For example, internet service providers (ISPs) deserve praise for taking a voluntary pledge to limit fees, forgive fines and remove data caps. But that pledge expired at the end of June, months before school starts and in the middle of an expanding economic calamity.

It’s true that many ISPs are still going to extraordinary lengths to help those in need — look no further than Verizon donating phones to Miracle Messages to help individuals experiencing homelessness connect with loved ones. However, even these extraordinary measures will not fully make up for the fact that hundreds of thousands of Californians are experiencing greater financial insecurity than ever before. They want and require a long-term solution to their digital needs — not just voluntary pledges that end in the middle of a pandemic.

In the same way, many school districts in the Bay Area have rapidly loaned hotspots and devices to students and families in need. In fact, even before COVID-19, the Oakland Unified School District and the 1Million Project were providing hotspots to students in need. These sorts of interventions, though, do not afford students on the wrong side of the homework gap the same opportunity to fully develop their digital literacy as those that have devices to call their own and internet connections sufficient to do more than just homework.

Every student deserves a device to call their own and a connection that allows them to become experts in safely and smoothly navigating the internet.

Direct giving is the solution. Financially secure individuals across the Bay Area can and should “sponsor” internet plans and devices for families in need. By sponsoring a family’s high-speed internet plan for a year or more, donors will provide students and parents alike with the security they need to focus on all of the other challenges associated with life in a pandemic. What’s more, sponsored devices would come without strings attached or “used” labels.

Students would have a fully equipped laptop to call their own as well as one that didn’t lack key functionalities, which is common among donated devices.

Because access to the internet is a human right, the government should be solving the homework gap. So far, it hasn’t been up to the task. So, in the interim, we’ll need a private sector solution. The good news is that we collectively seem up for the task. According to Fidelity, most charitable donors plan to maintain or increase their giving this year.

Consider that even 46% of millennials plan to increase their philanthropy. Unfortunately, one inhibitor to giving is the fact that “many donors don’t feel that they have the information they need to effectively support efforts” to address the ramifications of COVID-19.

That’s where NOLO and other digital inclusion coalitions step in. We’re sounding the bell: The public sector isn’t closing the homework gap; it’s on us to make sure kids have the connections and devices they need to thrive. NOLO is also providing the means to act on this information — during its Bridge the Divide campaign, donors will have a chance to sponsor broadband bills for community members served by organizations across the Bay Area including the SF Tech Council, BMAGIC and the Mission Merchants Association.

Our collective assignment is making the homework gap a priority. Our due date is nearing. The first task is taking a day off(line) on July 17. The next is donating to the Bridge the Divide campaign during the week of the 27th.

Let’s get to work.

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Werbe-Boykott auch von Starbucks und Pepsi – Facebook verliert 56 Mrd. Dollar – an einem Tag!

Warum tun die Betreiber sozialer Medien so wenig gegen Verschwörungstheorien? BILD erklärt, warum nicht viel mehr gelöscht wird.

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*** BILDplus Inhalt *** So läuft Online-Dating in Corona-Zeiten – Kathrin chattet mit einem Fetisch-Liebhaber

<br /> Online-Dating und Corona: Kathrin chattet mit einem Fetisch-Liebhaber *** BILDplus Inhalt *** - <br /> Internet - <br /> Bild.de

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*** BILDplus Inhalt *** Doppelt so viele Fakeshops – So fallen Sie nicht auf Corona-Betrüger herein

Schlechte Nachrichten für Onlineshopper: Laut Zahlen des Landeskriminalamtes in Hannover sei aktuell bei sogenannte Fakeshops im Internet ein Anstieg um mehr als 100 Prozent zu beobachten. Die Cyberkriminellen nutzen die Maßnahmen zur Corona-Quarantäne um vermehrt mit gefälschten Shops oder Angeboten Kunden in die Fall zu locken.

BILD erklärt, wie man die bösen Shops von den guten unterscheidet und was zu tun ist, wenn man schon auf einen der Fakeshop hereingefallen ist.

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Klorolle bis Tanz-Hysterie – Das sind die lustigsten Corona-Challenges

Nach dem Motto „Humor ist, wenn man trotzdem lacht“ finden sich im Internet unzählige sogenannte Challenges, in denen Menschen versuchen, sich mit Spaß die Corona-Zeit zu vertreiben. Wir haben einige der lustigsten zusammengestellt. Für alle gilt: Mitmachen ist bedenkenlos.

Boah, für viele beginnt bereits Woche sechs oder sogar noch mehr, in der sie die meiste Zeit im Homeoffice und nur mit einer Handvoll Menschen verbringen. Da ist Kreativität und Mut zu Neuem gefragt, um nicht vor lauter Langeweile nur vor dem TV zu sitzen.

Und was wäre besser geeignet, um zu solchen Challenges aufzurufen, als die großen sozialen Netzwerke Facebook, Instagram, Twitter und all die anderen? Allen gemeinsam ist der durch Twitter bekannte Hashtag #, der nahezu alle Challenge-Bezeichnungen anführt – egal in welchem Netzwerk teilgenommen wird.

Lesen Sie auch

Deswegen hier unsere Challenge-Tipps, nicht sortiert nach Netzwerk, sondern nach Aufgabe (# – hashtag):


Die Klopapier-Challenge ist die vielleicht bekannteste Herausforderung, die dieser Tage durch die sozialen Netze berbreitet wird. Ausgangspunkt war Fußballprofi Jérôme Boateng vom FC Bayern München:

Der argentinische Superstar Lionel Messi vom FC Barcelona hat die Herausforderung angenommen:

Doch Fußballprofi zu sein heißt nicht, dass automatisch auch mit einer Klopapierrolle jongliert werden kann. Der brasilianische Defensiv-Spieler Felipe Melo aus São Paulo zeigt, dass die Zellstoffrollen auch für das Abwehrtraining genutzt werden können:

Ein ganz besonderer Applaus geht zwar auch an einen Profisportler, aber einen, der nichts mit Fußball am Hut hat (außer dass er ein sehr guter Freund von Bastian Schweinsteiger ist): Felix Neureuther!


Eine Challenge, die viele Stilblüten liefert, ist die #CoronadanceChallenge oder auch #QuarantineDance. Vom VIP bis zu Kindern tummeln sich hier alle, die schon immer mal eine Bühne gesucht haben.

Unser absoluter Favorit ist US-Schauspieler Jack Black („Jumanj“), der einen sehr expressiven und ausdrucksstarken Tanz abliefert:

Es müssen aber nicht nur Promis sein, die unser Herz erobern:


Der Name #NakedChallenge klingt schlüpfriger, als die Action eigentlich ist. Dabei versuchen Frauen, ihre Männer oder Partner in komplett unpassenden Situationen damit zu überraschen, dass sie plötzlich einfach vor ihnen stehen – splitterfasernackt. Trotzdem alles jugendfrei.


Im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes kindisch wird es bei der #oldpicturechallenge. Hier posten einfach alle Bilder aus ihren Kindertagen. Das ist natürlich besonders lustig bei Menschen, die man gut kennt, oder eben auch hier bei Promis!

Na, hätten Sie diese Prominenten erkannt?

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Players Ntwrk launches celebrity gaming channel backed by WME, Daylight and Stratton Sclavos

Emerging from the smoldering wreckage of Echo Fox and Vision Venture Partners, the investor Stratton Sclavos is rising again to launch a new esports-related venture — a gaming-focused digital network also backed by the WME talent agency and Daylight Holdings.

Tapping Daylight and WME’s roster of talent, Sclavos has created Players Ntwrk, a new gaming-focused production company that will look to compete with other upstarts angling to tap into esports and competitive gaming’s newly dominant place in the entertainment firmament.

Players Ntwrk will feature original programming, unscripted series, celebrity gameplay and live events tapping talent from music, traditional pro-sports and the esports gaming world.

Sclavos and the multifaceted talent manager and president of Daylight Holdings, Ben Curtis, dreamed up Players Ntwrk as a way to tie together disparate groups of athletes and entertainers around their shared love of gaming and entertainment. The network will initially leverage relationships with WME and Klutch Sports Group, the agency founded by LeBron James’ longtime manager, Rich Paul, to find talent for programming.

The network will launch on Tuesday at 5:00 pm Pacific for two hours of gameplay featuring the New Orleans Pelicans Guard/Forward Josh Hart and Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox on the Players Ntwrk Twitch channel. Additional live streams will be broadcast Friday and Saturday, the company said.

Over the next 12 weeks the network will add live programming featuring all of its “First Squad” talent and experimenting with different gaming and unscripted formats. Ultimately, the network will produce between 12 and 15 hours of original programming per week by the end of the second quarter and will ramp up to 20 to 24 hours of programming per-week by the end of the year.

Initial programming is going to be devoted to charity fundraising, with proceeds going to designated charities based on direct audience donations, the company said.

Players Ntwrk’s First Squad talent roster includes:

  • Professional athletes: De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings), Josh Hart (New Orleans Pelicans), Jarvis Landry (Cleveland Browns) and Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints)
  • Music and Entertainment: PARTYNEXTDOOR, Murda Beatz, producer Boi-1da, actor/former athlete Donovan Carter (Ballers)
  • Creators/Streamers: KatGunn, Sodapoppin, Cash, Jesser, Jericho, Octane, Sigils, Sonii and DenkOps

Players Ntwrk joins companies like Venn, which are angling to gain a slice of the roughly 37.5 million monthly viewers that are expected to watch live streams on Twitch by the end of 2020, according to research done by eMarketer.

“The number of viewers and subscribers consuming gaming entertainment across YouTube and Twitch tops other entertainment services such as Netflix, HBO, Spotify and ESPN combined,” said Sclavos, in a statement. “Entertainment spectacle is trumping hardcore gaming competition. That kind of engagement makes it clear; gaming entertainment is the next pop culture phenomena. PLAYERS NTWRK is the only platform embracing and executing this new reality by creating original content with the most influential people who also happen to be fans themselves.”

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*** BILDplus Inhalt *** BILD hat es ausprobiert – Das passiert, wenn man Porno-Spam anklickt

„Hiiii, wie geht es Dir?“ Die Chat-Anfrage erreichte mich bei Twitter. Abgeschickt von Sherry, offenbar einer jungen Frau, die gerne Fotos von sich mit viel nackter Haut veröffentlicht. So war es zumindest in ihrem Twitter-Profil zu sehen.

Hiiii, schrieb sie, und schickte dazu ein Feuer-Emoji. Offenbar eine Spam-Nachricht, die man eigentlich sofort löschen sollte. Aber was passiert eigentlich, wenn man darauf antwortet? Ich, der BILD-Reporter, habe etwas getan, was man niemals machen sollte – und den Spam angeklickt!

Lesen Sie mit BILDplus, was der Reporter zu sehen bekam und welche Gefahren sich hinter dem Porno-Spam verbargen!

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Mit Daten aus Kartendienst – Google-Analyse soll im Kampf gegen Corona helfen

Der Internetriese Google will den Kampf gegen das Coronavirus mit Daten aus seinem Kartendienst Maps unterstützen.Dazu startet das Unternehmen sogenannte „Community Mobility Reports“, die Auskunft über die Entwicklung von Menschenmengen geben. Aus speziell aufbereiteten Daten von Google Maps lasse sich ablesen, wie sich die Besuche etwa in Geschäften …

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