A stray copycat out there may be reason for some concern, however Rocket Internet has created a name and huge business for itself by cranking out copies at high speed, giving Groupon and other major players hell in Germany and the whole of Europe. Wrapp’s press release also mentions they will soon be opening up in France, the Netherlands and the U.S., although the whole release only really serves the purpose of calling out Samwer brothers and say, “I’m coming to your house with these people, and I’m going to get whatever I want out of the fridge.”
“I’m now meeting Germany’s top merchants with our chairman Fabian Mansson – the former CEO of global retailer H&M and U.S. apparel icon Eddie Bauer – to discuss the benefits of working with the only social gifting service whose interests are 100 percent aligned with the retailers’,” said Hjalmar Winbladh, CEO and co-founder of Wrapp in the press release.
“In addition, I was able to get Thomas Klews to lead the strategic launch in the DACH region and build our German operations over the next six months. I have known and worked with Thomas for nearly four years and trust his expertise and acumen to make Wrapp the standard social gifting service in Germany.”
At the ArcticEvening event in Stockholm last Thursday we were delighted to have Hjalmar Winbladh, CEO and co-founder of Wrapp up on stage, along with Peder Stahle from iZettle. The two companies are close (they work out of the same office) and I asked them where the line is drawn when it’s fair game to copy or build off someone’s innovation (like iZettle is in the public perception), or when copying an innovation is no longer decent.
Winbladh answered straight away that it’s one thing to take an idea and to make it a wholly better concept, but it’s another thing to copy something and to do it worse. That seems to be the root of Winbladh’s anger– not that there’s competition out there, but that Rocket Internet has both created a bad product and missed the bigger concept behind Wrapp.
Meeting Winbladh in person you get the impression of a football coach that is driving his team hard until they crush their rivals. But this match is only personal- to beat the other team on their home field. The first company to build serious relationships with U.S. retailers and launch is going to come home wearing the championship ring.