Looks like Rocket Internet quietly closed down Sparklist, a hyperlocal mobile classifieds app. The app was launched only in Pakistan and Philippines.
Sparklist was Rocket Internet’s attempt to go head-on-head with Naspers-backed OLX but it doesn’t look to have a chance now. Unlike OLX, Sparklist had chosen to go app-only. The global site GetSparklist is down. Even its Pakistan site and Philippines site are down. The app is no more to be found in Google Play Store.
One can safely assume that the Rocket Internet-backed startup is closed. Last year in September, Rocket Internet announced that it would launch four new startups every year in Asia. But you can only hear startup after after startup backed by Rocket Internet closing. Other recent shut downs of Rocket Internet’s portfolio startups include EasyTaxi, that shut operations in Asia, Tripda, a carpooling app that shut down in February.
In October 2014 Rocket Internet had hit the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with the initial offering of USD 41.50. It’s share price is currently trading at USD 23.48, almost half the price of its initial offering. Its Global Fashion Group, of which Zalora and Jabong are a part have also devalued badly in the last few months.
Rumor is that Rocket Internet pokes its nose a lot in the business of its startups leading to the losses these startups experience. You start believing this rumor when you unsubscribe to the emails of Printvenue, a Rocket Internet-backed startup, and find that the page you land to doesn’t have “Printvenue” as the headline but “Rocket Internet”. Check the screenshot below