After 2020 put a break on expansion plans, international growth will be on many companies’ new years’ resolutions for 2021. However, internationalizing is hard — and there’s little public guidance available. The following lessons from Rocket Internet’s international growth may help guide you as you prepare your company for international expansion.

This article appeared first on Techcrunch.

Learning from the successful and failed companies of Rocket Internet

During my five years with Global Founders Capital, Rocket Internet’s $1B VC arm, I saw more than a hundred of Rocket’s incubated companies attempt to internationalize. For background, Rocket Internet has helped launch…


I’ve realized recently that I don’t get much value out of Twitter these days. There is just too much noise. Which is why I find it hard to use it as a resource to discover the latest news and relevant articles about innovation, tech and consumer in particular. Instead I fell in love again with an old-school medium called email. Newsletters are surging in popularity in my inbox (and many others’ inboxes as well as it seems). I am a big fan of human curation enriched with the editors’ thoughts on a topic and article. …


We are kicking off a search for Analysts and Interns to join our offices in Berlin and Copenhagen. Heartcore Capital is Europe’s Early Stage, Consumer-only VC. We were privileged to be early investors in European successes such as GetYourGuide, Boozt.com, Natural Cycles, Seriously, Exporo, Lillydoo and many more. We are based in Copenhagen 🇩🇰, Berlin 🇩🇪 and in Paris 🇫🇷.

🎉We are now looking to hire additional team members in Berlin and Copenhagen. → 1 Analyst (Berlin), 1 Analyst (Copenhagen), 1 Intern (Berlin). …


As more companies move their advertising budget online, the cost of reaching new customers is increasing for everyone. This is the inflationary reality in which we build businesses today. Acquiring customers through performance marketing is more expensive today than last year, and it will be more expensive in the future.

More and more advertising spend is pursuing a finite supply of attention and spending power, driving prices up across the board. I like to think about this as supply (= consumers that can be targeted online) and demand (= advertisers) converging towards an equilibrium, due to an increasing amount of…


When a founder comes with bad news, to me that’s good news. Not that I want things to go wrong at our portfolio companies… quite the contrary! But it means that I have established a level of trust with the entrepreneur so that they actively seek out my help and advice. To me that’s one of the final levels to reach as an investor.

I want to worry. I want to know the large problems that keep a founder up at night and the smaller ones too that might become big ones. It is a proven value driver for our…


The main challenge in building a category defining brand is a question of getting through the noise. It is to overcome a “tipping point” of awareness, to become relevant in the consumer’s mind. In this sense, building a brand has seemingly become easier in the age of Social Media. So easy in fact that it becomes once again challenging to cut through the abundance of competing brand messages. The bar remains high for entrepreneurs to build a truly category defining and lasting brand.

So, how do you get to the tipping point and over the awareness hurdle after all? How…


Over the last few years we’ve seen a large number of Enterprise startups raise significant capital to apply machine learning to solve business problems. According to Pitchbook data there are currently over 10 non-listed B2B Unicorns in the US and Europe that can credibly make the claim that machine learning is core to their service offering for the Enterprise, while there is not a single B2C company above a $1bn valuation. This has left me wondering: where are all the consumer companies building machine learning enabled services for you and me?

There are many reasons for this scarcity in applied…


Direct-to-Consumer brands present one of the biggest opportunities in consumer tech to date. While this is not exactly a new trend (Everlane and Warby Parker were both founded in 2010), but at the latest since Dollar Shave Club was acquired by Unilever for $1 billion it is now more obvious than ever that direct-to-consumer (DTC) is a business model to keep an eye on. As a result of internalizing producer margins and disintermediating wholesalers and merchants, these businesses can be very attractive from a unit economics perspective. …


The New Berlin Venture Capital Boom

A number of New funds and a diverse and experienced pool of entrepreneurs might very well be the tipping point for the German capital’s young startup scene. 2016 will see a new influx of VC money, while investors pull back elsewhere.

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It seems like the party is over… A number of industry experts have been busy in recent months highlighting crazy startup valuations, while calling for a more sensible approach to investing. And the signs are there: it certainly looks like we dealing with a significant cool-down. Tech companies like Etsy…

Levin Bunz

Venture Capitalist at Heartcore Capital, heartcore.com

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