Rocket Internet has been making a lot of waves in Asia with its e-commerce startups. But just like any startup, the German-based company can also make mistakes and even fail. SGEntrepreneurs reported yesterday about Rocket Internet’s office supplies e-store OfficeFab quietly shutting down its offices in all four countries where the site operates: Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia.
The same report says that the multi-country OfficeFab websites are still live and can process payments. But, as we’ve independently confirmed, the site is doomed – and it’s due to a change of strategy at Rocket.
Shift to OfficeYes
To find out more, we tracked down one OfficeFab employee (who’d like to remain anonymous) who tells us that OfficeFab is indeed closing down its offices in Southeast Asia. The employee says that this is very unexpected because they are recording very high revenue growth. At the moment, the four country’s sites are still operational to handle payments on both the suppliers’ and customers’ ends, but perhaps after all of them are cleared off the books, then the site will totally bite the dust. The OfficeFab employee says that all of the capital from those Southeast Asian branches will be reallocated to Rocket Internet’s office supplies e-commerce venture in India called OfficeYes. We’re told that the Indian branch is recording the highest revenue of all Rocket Internet’s office-oriented e-stores.
We have reached out to Rocket Internet representatives and will update if someone can speak on-record.
Aside from this set-back, Rocket Internet has been making solid progress with huge funding boosts for Lazada, Zalora, and FoodPanda. OfficeFab has been the quieter of the bunch, with no announced funding rounds.
(Hat-tip to SGEntrepreneurs for spotting this)
(Editing by Steven Millward and Anh-Minh Do)