The Berlin-based incubator, Rocket Internet has successfully cloned businesses such as Amazon, eBay and launched dozens of internet ventures all over the world. The likes of Hellofood, Jumia, Easy Taxi, Jovago and more in Nigeria are evidence that their ambition defies petty political, economic and infrastructural concerns. These guys plan on ruling the world.

Rocket Internet mostly hires bright individuals with robust experience, and further trains them in its Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) or Global Venture development (GVD) program. Graduates of the programmes get to head newly funded Rocket projects across regions.

There are talent who have managed Rocket businesses but have since exited to create personal ventures. Here are a couple of ex-Rocket execs and what they are up to now.

1. Raphael Afaedor:  Co-Founder & CEO,

raphaelRaphael was CEO at Jumia Nigeria  between March 2012 and January 2014.  He got an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2007 and worked at Monster Technologies, Goldman Sachs, Notore and co-founded QluQlu, an ecommerce venture that provides discounted offers to users, before joining Jumia. Raphael now runs  Supermart, an online grocery service that allows customers shop for groceries from choice supermarkets in Lagos. Raphael co-founded Supermart with Gbolahan Fagbure,  former Director of Operations at Jumia.

2. Gbolahan Fagbure: Co-Founder,


Gbolahan joined Jumia as Director of Operations in May 2012 and served in that capacity before leaving in January of 2014 to co-found Supermart with Raphael Afaedor. He graduated from the University of Reading, United Kingdom.

3. Tunde Kehinde: Co-Founder, ACE


Tunde was Jumia Nigeria’s co-founder when the e-retailer started out in 2012. He left in 2014 to found ACE (formerly called A-Post) alongside Ercin Eksin. ACE  is a technology logistics startup that helps small businesses and individuals connect to consumers in Nigeria and all over Africa.

4. Bankole Cardoso: Currently in stealth


Bankole trained as an accountant and business administrator at Boston College. He worked as an associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), and worked with the Global Market Strategies Group at the Carlyle Group before joining Rocket as a founder and CEO of its e-hailing taxi service, Easy Taxi in July 2013.

Bankole left Easy Taxi last January and has largely been under the radar. When he left Easy Taxi, he simply said he was beginning work on ‘new projects’.

5. Ercin Eksin, Co-Founder, ACE

Ercin was the Chief Operating Officer for Africa at Jumia in charge of Morocco, Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria between March 2013 and October 2013. He left to co-found ACE (Africa Courier Express) in November 2013. ACE currently has hubs in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan  and an Abeokuta hub is expected to launch soon.

6. Leonard Stiegeler, Head of West Africa, Ringier Africa

Image: Ringier

Ex-cofounder and Managing Director for Sabunta – the e-fashion retail store which later merged with Kasuwa to become Jumia – between March 2012 and August 2012. After leaving Jumia in 2012, he founded, an online retail store for sunglasses and contact lenses which had since stopped operations. He is currently head of the West African operations of Swiss media enterprise, Ringier media.

7. Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi: Co-Founder, Suregifts

Image: Ventureburn

Samuel started with (which merged with Osabunta to become Jumia) as a financial reporter in June 2012. He was a business intelligence analyst when he left in January 2013 to begin work on Numbers, a business advisory and incubation service for startups. He is currently the Co-Founder, along with Adeoye Ojo and Babafemi Lawal at Suregifts, a local online store for gifts and gift cards.

8. Babafemi Lawal: Co-Founder, Suregifts


Babafemi worked as a senior business analyst at the time he left Jumia in 2014. He was a data analyst at Samsung West Africa before joining Jumia in 2012. In 2013 he cofounded the online gift shop, Suregifts with Adeoye Ojo and Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi.

9. Adeoye Ojo: Co-Founder, Suregifts


Adeoye left Rocket’s Jumia August 2013 as a senior marketing analyst and team lead on Jumia’s business intelligence for nine months and as a marketing analyst six months prior. He cofounded the online gift shop, Suregifts October 2013.

10. Onyeka Akumah: Co-Founder, QuikGist


Onyeka was a Director of Marketing and Partnerships at Jumia before leaving in December 2012. He joined Jumia’s local e-retailer competition, Konga in 2013 as VP Marketing and left again in 2014 to focus on business advisory. He is currently a Marketing advisor at Passion incubator and an investor in the online marketplace for Cakes, Waracake. He also founded QuikGist, an entertainment news aggregator blog in 2012.

11. Wale Adetula: Marketing and Communications Manager, DHL Express Africa


Wale was the head of Jumia’s offline marketing and led some of the startup’s first marketing pushes in Nigeria. He left the Jumia in 2013 to pursue other creative and marketing engagements. He currently works with DHL express Africa as the company’s Marketing and Communications Manager for West Africa.

12. James Gibson: Head of Countries, E-commerce


James worked at Rocket’s online food delivery marketplace, Hellofood in Nigeria as the Managing Director between September 2013 and September 2014. He is now  with telecommunications group, Econet Wireless International. He joined the firm  in January 2015 as the eCommerce head for South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Photo Credit: jurvetson via Compfight cc

Bolade Popoola Author

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