30. April 2012–
Swedish gift-giving startup Wrapp is now live in the US - the latest move in its bid to keep ahead of Rocket Internet rival DropGifts in international markets.
Wrapp CEO Hjalmar Winbladh hit headlines in March after the Samwer brothers' Rocket Internet released a clone of his service, DropGifts, in Germany. His response? Bring it - starting with a German launch.
Today, Wrapp announced partnerships with Fab, Gap, H&M, The Wall Street Journal, Wayfair, Threadless and other major retailers as part of its new US service. The US is just one of many new markets in Wrapp's sights. The service's website (also, screen shot below) shows Germany, Turkey, France, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Australia and Japan are among countries either on the way or already live.
Meanwhile, DropGift's latest press release suggests the service's current targets are France, the US, the UK, Japan, Brazil, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands - as well as existing base Germany.
The race is on...
This is new territory for Rocket Internet's Samwer brothers. Most of the companies they've borrowed from (Pinterest, Zappos, Airbnb, to a certain extent Amazon) are well-established and based in the US. Wrapp is not only European based, but a startup.
Winbladh started Wrapp last year with a small group of co-founders including Andreas Ehn and Magnus Hult (formerly of music streaming service Spotify). The company claims nearly 180,000 people used the service to send 1.5 million free promotional gift cards over the last four months.
Rival DropGifts' stats since officially starting up in April this year are less readily available but the German branch already has over 4500 Facebook fans.
Both services seem to be well-funded. DropGifts raised new capital from eVenture Capital Partners and New Enterprise Associates (NEA) this month, according to Deutsche Startups. Wrapp is running on $10.5 million in Series A funding from Greylock Partners and Atomico in January, which also led to LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Skype founder Niklas Zennström coming on board as new directors.
Rocket Internet's successful borrowing of others' business models in new markets relies on fast execution and aggressive expansion. Will the world be big enough for two?
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Featured image: Hjalmar Winbladh at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich. Image source: Nadine Rupp/Getty Images Europe