16. January 2013–
The two sites are similar in design to eBay and almost identical to each other. Sellers can list items and choose to do so via auction or fixed price listing; users can browse for electronics, gadgets, books, furniture, cars or fashion products.
Both sites were live – soft-launched – before last week, probably from December. Azmalo also went live in a different form mid-last year before apparently being "axed" in August, then relaunching in the new style now shared by Kaymu.
Kaymu and Azmalo – back to the eBay model
Rocket Internet, founded by Germany’s Samwer brothers in 2007 and headquartered in Berlin, spans over 50 portfolio companies in over 40 countries.
It's interesting to see Rocket Internet rolling out new dedicated peer-to-peer online marketplaces. That model is not new to the Samwers, who founded German eBay clone Alando in 1999 before selling it to eBay for US$50million later that year.
Rocket Internet, though, is now better known for adapting the models of other eCommerce pioneers – notably Zappos (which inspired Rocket Internet's Zalando, Dafiti and Lamoda) and Amazon (which inspired Lazada in South East Asia and Jumia in the MENA region).
The advantage of the eBay model is that users take care of the logistics and shipping costs. It also rounds out Rocket Internet's other offerings in Pakistan and Nigeria, which include Daraz.pk, an online fashion retailer, and Jumia.com.ng.
Rocket Internet is also opening up Lazada to third-party sellers – though, in keeping with the Amazon model, this is more aimed at professional retailers.
Featured image credit: Abuja, Nigeria, by Flickr user Brin Pinzgauer