According to the deal, Millicom will gain 20% stakes in two Rocket subsidiaries, Latin America Internet Holdings (LIH) and Africa Internet Holdings (AIH), with an option to acquire 50% controlling interests over the next four years for a total outlay of $1.28 billion.
Partnering with Millicom will give the Berlin clone incubator a foothold in two of the only regions on Earth where the Rocket hasn’t yet landed. Earlier this year Gigaom listed 38 Rocket spawn across 58 countries — many of which are clones of established internet businesses — and produced a chilling map depicting Rocket’s global footprint (at right).
Notice that two of the only regions not already painted Rocket red are Africa and Central America — which happen to be the two regions where Millicom boasts telecom networks. Millicom is the dominant service provider in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, and maintains a commanding presence in Bolivia and Paraguay. Likewise Millicom is a major provider of telecom service in seven countries across Africa. So the Millicom deal will surely open up vast new swaths of Lebensraum for Rocket Internet’s restless entrepreneurs.