Building a giant? Rocket bets big on new online markets
* Rocket has launched 70 firms in more than 100 countries
* Its top 8 emerging mkt e-commerce firms had $708 mln 2013 sales
* Chinese giant Alibaba also expanding abroad
* Rocket seeks upper hand on brands, product quality, service
* Fashion should bring profit faster than Amazon - Zalora
By Jeremy Wagstaff, Maria Kiselyova and Emma Thomasson
SINGAPORE/MOSCOW/BERLIN, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Germany's Rocket Internet faces daunting logistical challenges and rising local competition from Lagos to Laos as it races to capture customers in emerging markets before e-commerce titans Amazon and Alibaba can catch up.
That spells mounting losses as the venture capital company gears up to launch an initial public offering (IPO) this month that will help provide the war chest it needs to build and defend what it hopes will be the largest online shopping empire outside the United States and China.
Chief Executive Oliver Samwer, who founded Rocket Internet in 2007 with his brothers Alexander and Marc, sees huge opportunities for digital businesses in emerging markets, noting that the cities with the most active Facebook users are Bangkok, Jakarta and Istanbul - with no U.S. city in the top 10. Continuación...