Is the startup scene dead? Yes: the “Samwer cloning index” shows zero activity
Good catch by Business Insider, who followed up on the online debate between Fred “consumer web is over” Wilson and Dave “best is yet to come” McClure. What about this metric, a “smart investor” told them: the Samwer brothers haven’t copied one single US startup in the last three months:
The US consumer Internet startup is so dead and boring, a smart investor tells us, that Germany’s Samwer brothers haven’t cloned a single US startup in more than three months. The Samwer brothers, you will recall, run an incubation/investment firm called Rocket Internet.
Every time a US startup shows the slightest bit of promise, Rocket immediately clones it–often right down to the logo and font. And then, a couple of years later, if everything has gone according to plan, Rocket sells the European clone back to the parent company for gazillions of dollars.
The Samwers built an eBay clone and sold it to eBay, for example. They built a Groupon clone and sold it to Groupon. They’ve built a Pinterest clone and an AirBnB clone. And so on.
These clones, by the way, aren’t chosen haphazardly.
According to one source, a team at Rocket Internet systematically reviews every Internet startup that gets funded in the US and then decides whether or not to clone it.
The firm has presumably reviewed every company funded in the US in the past three months.
And it hasn’t found a single one worth cloning.
Also, in another Business Insider report, you can find this graph that might make you think twice if you think that the internet goldrush has only just begun: most of the money is already online, which makes the market “maybe more mature than you might think”, as Henry Blodget notes.
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