Rocket Internet, the Berlin-based incubator most famous for slavishly cloning US companies like Zappos, AirBnB and now Pinterest in Germany, now faces a new competitor – in the form of some of its key employees. As we reported recently the core team of Rocket, led by Oliver Samwer and his two other brothers, left to set up something new, and now we know what it is.
Uwe Horstmann (former CEO of Rocket Internet), Thies Sander (former CEO of TopTarif) and Christian Weiss (founding CEO of Rocket Internet) are now working on the Oryx Project also a kind of incubator. But this is not just any incubator. It just happens to have landed significant funding – we’re hearing tens of millions in Euro – from giant German high street and online retailer Otto.
Fascinatingly, Otto has been feeling the pressure lately from e-commerce startups created by none other than Rocket Internet, so perhaps now the fight will be a little fairer? This is a little like Best Buy giving YCombinator a few million to take out Radio Shack with some fast-moving startups.
The Oryx Project is now currently hiring like mad, as you can see from their holding page.
Meanwhile, something else has come along to tax the patience of famously irascible Oliver Samwer, the enforcer behind Rocket Internet’s huge success over the last few years. No, it’s not the fact that he had to apologise for using over-the top language like “Blitzkrieg” in a memo to staff, leaked to us.
No, this time it’s a dance track with the infamous Blitzkrieg memo set to a dane music track. Penned by an outfit calling itself Terrible Inc, we hear it’s doing wildfire business in the Berlin internet scene and we have to say, it’s pretty damn catchy. Have a listen for yourself.