ProSiebenSat.1’s new incubator Epic Companies has unofficially launched its first company, eCommerce site Valmano, which looks suspiciously like one of Rocket Internet’s portfolio companies – Australia-based The Iconic. The Valmano website hosts designer watches and jewellery in a very similar layout to The Iconic, which sells accessories alongside fashion, footwear and beauty products.
It looks like Berlin-based company builder Rocket Internet is getting a taste of its own medicine with the copycat from Epic Companies. Rocket is known for cloning successful business models in new markets – with targets including Amazon, Birchbox, Airbnb and Pinterest – often blatantly ripping off the original’s design and name.
This cloning mentality could be something Epic Companies head Mato Peric brought in from his previous job experience – he worked as Global CEO of eCommerce Ventures at Rocket Internet, with responsibility for launching Zalando sister companies Zalora and Jabong in Asia. According to Deutsche Startups, Peric also played a role in The Iconic itself.
Valmano offers free returns and shipping for all orders, as does The Iconic. It is the first of five companies that Epic Companies aims to launch this year. The incubator provides startups with seed financing, advertisement on the ProSiebenSat.1 TV network and expert advice. Epic Companies is mostly focused on eCommerce startups that target the European market and is led by a team made up of predominantly ex-Rocket and McKinsey staff.
Considering the first company the incubator has launched, it’ll be interesting to see if it sticks to its stated aim of launching truly innovative companies.
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