13. April 2012–
Rocket Internet's Pinterest-clone Pinspire is rumoured to be winding down, with talk that the company may have made as many as 70 employees redundant this week.
Gruenderszene cites three unnamed sources to back news of redundancies at Pinspire, with one source claiming a skeleton crew of about eight people will be left to wind the company down over the next three months. Pinspire and Rocket Internet could not be reached to confirm the rumour yesterday.
Pinspire went live late last year with an obviously similar concept and layout to image-pinning social site Pinterest, adding to the debate on whether innovation or just expert execution is needed to secure Berlin's reputation as a rising tech hub.
If Pinspire has grown to 70 or more staff since then, it would be exceptionally steep growth - not surprising, given Rocket Internet's history of swift execution, but risky in a space with serious competition. Main rival Pinterest reached 11 million users in January and, according to the hot off the press 2012 Experian Digital Marketer, upped its traffic 50 per cent between January and February.
Adding to the pressure, Pinterest and Pinspire are not the only two similar models on the web. Tech and business site AGBeat lists 33 sites either inspired by or closely replicating Pinterest.
Watch this space...
We'll bring you updates as we get them.
[question mark photo credit to Flickr user Bilal Kamoon]