Latam e-commerce firm Linio gets $79 million in new investment-Reuters

(Reuters) - Linio, an e-commerce company bidding to be the Amazon of Latin America set up by German venture capital firm Rocket Internet, has attracted 58 million euros ($79 million) in new funding, helping it expand to new markets like Chile.

Linio said in a statement on Tuesday the new funding round was led by private equity fund manager Northgate Capital and Access Industries, owned by Len Blavatnik, a billionaire and Ukrainian-born American industrialist, who has invested in several Rocket Internet firms.

Founded in 2012, Linio now sells products from shoes to smartphones in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru. It has not published sales figures but says it gets over 15 million website hits a month and has over 2 million Facebook fans.

Linio Chief Executive Andreas Mjelde said the new investment would help the firm expand into more countries, starting with Chile, and also pay for more marketing and improving its technical platform in its existing markets.

“With this new investment Linio will continue to position itself as the best choice for Latin American consumers, offering more than 300,000 products of high quality international brands at competitive prices in each of our countries,” Mjelde said.

Other investors in Linio include Rocket Internet-backers like Kinnevik of Sweden, JP Morgan Asset Management, Summit Partners and German retailer Tengelmann.

Berlin-based Rocket Internet is bidding to create the largest internet empire outside the United States and China, seeking to replicate the success of Amazon and Alibaba [IPO-ALIB.N] in markets such as Africa, Latin America and Russia.

Sources have told Reuters Rocket Internet is considering a stock market listing in Frankfurt later this year which could value it at up to 5 billion euros.

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