Startup Screen: Rakuten, Project A Ventures, Rocket Internet

We received tons of great feedback on our Roman’s Rants and Freaky Friday series, so here we go again and proudly present: The ecomPunk Startup Screen! This is our weekly news review from the world of European startups, taken from the most insightful sources. If you have something you think deserves a mention here, let us know!


Last Saturday, during the anual Tradoria Live! Event, CEO Hiroshi Mikitani had his first official appearance since the Japanese ecommerce platform Rakuten has bought Tradoria Deutschland a year ago. He outlined his company’s ambition to become the biggest ecommerce platform in Germany within the next five years, ahead of Amazon and eBay. The company, which has been called the Biggest E-Commerce Site you have never heard of makes $3bn in turnover and, according to close observers, manages to motivate its employees with a fresh new approach and a startup feeling. More on the subject on (German). On Youtube you can find a recent interview with Hiroshi Mikitani at the DLD 2012 in Munich a little while ago.

Project A Ventures: Wine in Black, Amerano

Backed by German mailorder giant Otto’s funding and know-how by Rocket Internet – the new incubator Project A Ventures started their work and made their first moves public. As Deutsche Startups tells us, they recently engaged in online wine retail by investing in Wine in Black. This is a shopping club aiming at providing its members access to premium wines at very decent prices. Secondly, Project A ventures invested in Amerano, a fashion site for men focusing on producing tailor-made-shirts. The clou is: Human style-guides visit the customers at home, measuring them and provide advice regarding materials used.

Rocket Internet: Bamarang

Last but not least, what would such a post be without a Samwer reference? Right. Rocket fired up their cloning laboratory once more and came up with Bamarang, a clone of, a site for buying designer furniture. Such a perfect clone in terms of business model and design that the CEO of, Jason Goldberg, could not help openly criticising the knock-off mentality of the Samwer’s:

The worst offender is a new company, bamarang, operating out of the UK and Germany from the infamous Rocket Internet – Samwer brothers.  Their site is not just a copycat, it’s frankly just stealing our unique Fab design elements.

About Roman Zenner
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One Response to Startup Screen: Rakuten, Project A Ventures, Rocket Internet

  1. Pingback: Startup Screen: Project A Ventures, Exceed Conference, Crowdfunding « ecomPunk

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