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HelloFresh valued at US$2.9b after venture financing round

[JOHANNESBURG] HelloFresh GmbH, a German food-delivery startup backed by the Samwer brothers' Rocket Internet SE, raised 75 million euros (S$118.4 million) in funding, lifting its valuation to 2.6 billion euros as it seeks to increase its market share and expand further.

The investment by Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford boosts the delivery company's valuation from 600 million euros and reduces Rocket's shareholding from 58.9 per cent to 57.2 per cent, Rocket said in a statement Thursday. Its stake is now worth 1.5 billion euros, said Berlin-based Rocket, a venture investment firm founded by Oliver, Marc, and Alexander Samwer.

With the investment, HelloFresh joins the ranks of so- called unicorns, venture-backed startups that have achieved a valuation of US$1 billion or more. Ride-sharing application BlaBlaCar said Wednesday it raised US$200 million in funding, bringing the French company's valuation to US$1.6 billion.

HelloFresh, which raised US$126 million in February, was set up in 2011 and delivers weekly meal kits with recipes and ingredients to customers in seven countries.

People familiar with the matter said in June that HelloFresh's owners were considering an initial public offering this year. Other investors in the company include and Insight Venture Partners, Phenomen Ventures and Vorwerk Direct Selling Ventures.