But unlike most clones, which never do as well as the original application, Verwandt is growing at nearly twice the rate that Geni is. In Verwandt’s first five months, CEO Sven Schmidt says they have spread to six languages (German, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and English). One million family trees and 9.5 million profiles have been created (4.5 million more profiles than Geni’s first five months).
They’ve cannibalized a lot of early adopters in the Europe and South America with strong execution in localized markets and languages. Verwandt is even taking on Geni on its home turf. They’ve just launched in the U.S. under the domain ItsOurTree. Same design, different words.
Geni’s simple Flash interface was an innovation among genealogical sites (see our coverage of established competitors like MyHeritage and Ancestry.com). Verwandt is nothing more than a blatant rip of of Geni. But they are executing perfectly, and those 9.5 million user profiles are likely gone for Geni forever. Verwandt’s success means other clones will pop up even quicker than befoe. And that means startups need to think about international strategies right at the start, perhaps even before launch and before the application is proven.