Try as they might the poor innovative startups of Germany – we’re talking guys like Soundcloud, Amen and 6wunderkinder to name just three – still have to deal with their industry’s most famous exports being out-and-out cloners. Germany’s most famous tech entrepreneurs are not Steve Jobs-like figures, original thinkers, but ruthless executors of other people’s business plans, and even designs. The latest has appeared today in the form of Lazada, an Amazon.com rip-off so close to the original we do rather wonder whether this time the Samwer Brothers’ photocopier in Berlin may have been used a little too liberally.
The Middle East and Southeast Asia is the target this time, and it’s ripe for development given that Amazon, Apple and other large tech firms rarely have local options, despite the region being highly populous. That’s their loss and the Samwer’s gain.
Lazada – aiming at the Middle East but also shipping to SE Asia – will be the latest clone from the Samwer’s Rocket Internet incubator, and more are rumoured to follow. Zalora, a Zappos clone (geez, can’t they even change the first letter?) has already launched in Thailand, and a hiring spree has now been engaged to staff warehouses galore. Rocket already has an extensive e-commerce operation in India in Gurgaon, with their Jabong.com venture.
We can only assume that Oli Samwer is once again exhorting his cohorts to “Do Like In Russia”.
Hat tip: TechBerlin