Rocket Internet opens its first engineering hub in Asia

Rocket Internet is increasing its focus on Asia after it opened its first engineering hub in the region.

Bangkok, Thailand, is the location of the center, which will house a tech team that carries out work for Rocket Internet’s portfolio of startups. The firm currently has 20 people at the base in Thailand, and it said it plans to more than double that headcount before the end of this year.

The focus is very much on mobile, given that it dominates Asia as the primary method of internet connectivity. The Bangkok hub is head by former Lazada executive Sohil Gilani, who is chief product officer for Asia Pacific Internet Group (APACIG) — the joint venture that Rocket Internet operates in partnership with telco Ooredoo.

“Bangkok is poised to become the tech capital of Southeast Asia. We look forward to tapping into this talent of world class developers, product managers and designers,” Gilani said in a statement.

Rocket Internet has similar engineering hubs in Berlin, the location of its global HQ, and Portugal, but this is its first for Asia. Back in 2015, the German firm made a change to its approach to the region, moving its focus on new businesses from capital intensive, commerce-based efforts to more nimble and lean startup-type operations. APACIG’s roster of 14 startups includes budget hotel network ZenRooms and travel booking site Jovago.