The Secret Behind One of Germany’s Most Successful Billion Dollar Companies

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

When you think of companies that make clones of popular American websites like Facebook, Amazon, or Groupon, what countries come to mind.  Many would be quick to respond with China, Russia, or India, but did you think that Germany is home to one of the most profitable copycat businesses?  Business Insider spent the last several months researching a German company that is making billions just by creating imitation sites of popular American internet startups.  It is a lengthy article but is worth the read.

Oliver Samwer, the co-founder of the Rocket Internet in Berlin, provides money to those who want to create an online company that mimics a successful American internet business.  From December 2011 to May of this year, Rocket Internet helped create a clone of Zappos, Square, Fab, and 2 different Amazon’s.  Most of the websites use similar, if not the same, images as the original and are found using the same text with only minor modifications.  The surprising thing is that these cloned sites are proving to be fairly successful in bringing in top money.

What Rocket Internet is doing isn’t all that new, but it is a growing industry that has many companies gathering legal teams to investigate the copied sites.  Some choose to fight their case in court, but others decide to buy the clone like Groupon did with Samwer’s successful copycat CityDeal.  After purchasing the Groupon clone, Samwer has gone on to now be responsible for bringing in more than half of Groupon’s revenue.

There is a lot more in the original article, so if you have some extra downtime or need a good read on your train commute, check out the full story at the source link.


Source: Business Insider

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Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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