Rocket-Backed Shopping Discount Platform Targets Asian Expansion

Rocket-Backed Shopping Discount Platform Targets Asian Expansion

Andreas Fruth, managing director and co-founder of CupoNation.

Photographer: Ralf Ettenhuber
  • CupoNation `actively looking' at Southeast Asian markets
  • Startup says is able to reach profit this year, open to M&A

Rocket Internet SE-backed CupoNation GmbH plans to expand in Asia as the German startup that links shoppers with free coupons and discounts targets making a profit this year.

CupoNation is "actively looking” at new markets in Southeast Asia, Managing Director and co-founder Andreas Fruth said in an interview Tuesday. The company is seeking to at least double its sales this year after an increase of 184 percent to about 12 million euros ($13.5 million) in 2015, he said.

“We are able to make the company profitable in 2016,” Fruth said by phone from Munich, where the company is based. CupoNation is open to acquiring competitors if the right opportunity comes along after buying Dutch rival Imbull last year, he said. Rocket Internet owns about 40 percent in the startup and is its biggest investor.

CupoNation links shoppers with free coupons and discounts for about 20,000 online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc., Zalando SE and Asos Plc. It gets a fee of 5 percent to 15 percent of the purchase value when a shopper buys something, Fruth said. The company, which is active in 24 countries including the U.S., India and Germany, competes with the likes of RetailMeNot Inc. and CouponDunia. CupoNation and its rivals are rushing to build scale as e-commerce increasingly replaces brick-and-mortar shops in many retail sectors.

Started in 2012, CupoNation helped generate 232 million euros in gross merchandise volume last year and wants to boost that to 400 million euros to 500 million euros in 2016, Fruth said. Investors in the company also include Deutsche Telekom AG and Holtzbrinck Ventures.

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