28. March 2012–
The Samwer brothers’ incubator Rocket Internet has confirmed plans for a subsidiary office in Munich, just weeks after expanding into new offices in Berlin.
Rocket Internet managing director Alexander Kudlich confirmed the news to Gründerszene today and suggested that the move is part of a drive to attract southern Germany’s best and brightest. Ex-McKinsey manager Maximilian Bittner, named last week by TechBerlin as the likely CEO of Amazon-esque Lazada, is expected to lead the Munich office. Frederick Roever, formerly of Augusta & Co, is also likely to be on board.
It’s no surprise that attracting top talent is a priority for Rocket. Not only is it essential for any successful business empire – especially one as ambitious as Rocket – but several key players, including Florian Heinemann, Christian Weiss and Uwe Horstmann, left Rocket this year to found hot new incubator Project A (check out our exclusive interviews with Florian Heinemann and Christian Weiss).
Setting up shop down south will give talented potential employees another choice of location. Startups Amiando, WestWing and Fair Observer all have a base in Munich and the city has a growing reputation, alongside Berlin and Hamburg, as a pillar of Germany’s startup scene.
Next stop, Hamburg?
Gründerszene speculates that Hamburg might be the next choice for physical expansion outside Berlin, which would place the pressure on competitors Hanse Ventures and HackFwd. Cologne, with its proximity to the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management and relatively spacious startup scene, may also appeal.
The reach of new Rocket Internet companies is of course much wider – news broke last week of a major push into SouthEast Asia with Lazada and others. Russia and Brazil are also of interest, with recent talk of “a number of new companies in emerging markets”.
Image credit: flickr user jurvetson