Eventbrite, Airbnb and Fab tell tales of fighting off the Samwer Brothers

Jan 21, 2013
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pink-floyd-wallAt hy!Berlin this past weekend, Eventbrite CTO Renaud Visage was interviewed by TNW European Editor Martin Bryant on the topic of Selling to the World, during which Renaud hinted that Eventbrite would be hiring in Paris very soon, in addition to Berlin and other European cities. The company, headquartered in the US, has had tremendous success at expanding internationally, despite the fact that “There is an Eventbrite clone is every country,” according to Visage. Visage was later joined for a panel on cloning by Maria Molland, head of Europe for Fab, and Eugen Miropolski, head of Europe for Airbnb. Fab recently launched in 24 countries including Germany, and Airbnb has been killing the competition here in France.

The topic of clones was particularly sensitive in Berlin, where the Samwer Brothers have built a business on cloning US Startups for other markets, packaged and ready to buy. Rocket Internet, the parent company with its hands in several clone pockets, is poised to potentially IPO, though some think the rumors refer more to their successful clones, like Zalando, than to the parent company itself.

Interestingly enough, the startups who have headed up the cloned companies have been numerous to go on to start their own startups, taking the experience in flawless execution from Rocket Internet and applying it to their own project. One Berlin startuper admitted, however, that many of the companies are eCommerce related, which makes sense, considering eCommerce is 100% execution.

As Berlin fights to put its reputation for cloning to bed, US Startups successful in fighting off clones are putting the myth to bed that copying pays.