April 02, 2012 at 03:32 AM EDT
Wrapp races to outpace DropGifts with German launch
In what is starting to look like an e-commerce version of Risk, Wrapp is retaliating against clone-artists Rocket Internet by launching on their home turf and detailing ambitious expansion plans
The race is on. Having been cloned by Germany’s Rocket Internet with its DropGifts service, Sweden’s gift-giving app Wrapp is now taking the fight to its rival’s home turf.
Wrapp, which now pitches itself as “the world’s first and leading social gifting service”, had already reacted to the attack of the clone by promising to speed up its own expansion — after all, what Rocket lacks in originality it makes up for in execution. Wrapp opened up in the UK last month, and on Monday it will set up shop in Germany.
The Wrapp-DropGifts battle is now starting to resemble a high-speed (for the e-commerce world) game of Risk. Wrapp only launched in Sweden last November, and in the intervening months it claims to have had 150,000 users sending more than a million gift vouchers to their Facebook friends, using the iPhone and Android Wrapp apps, in that country alone.
Since DropGifts appeared in late February, Wrapp has opened in Norway, Finland, the UK and now Germany, and is still aiming to move into the USA, China, Japan and Brazil as well as Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Eastern Europe.
It would do well to move fast. DropGifts has already opened shop in Italy, the UK, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Japan, France and Brazil, and is soon to arrive in India, South Africa and who knows where else.
And DropGifts has also just received a chunk of investment from eVenture Capital Partners and New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Deutsche Startups reported on Sunday.
Of course, the battle is not just about who can open in the most places most quickly — although that’s a pretty big deal. Wrapp’s major selling point, it says, is that unlike Rocket it doesn’t operate a bunch of e-commerce businesses itself, so it makes for a more trustworthy partner for the brands whose vouchers it’s selling.
Rocket’s game is quantity first, quality later. Over time, we’ll get to see who wins on quality. But right now, it looks like it’s all about who can spread faster.
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