Inside Germany’s startup factory: Rocket Internet built Helpling into a global company in 9 months
In early January, Helpling was an idea in the head of two guys walking into a meeting at Berlin-basedRocket Internet. Now, Helpling has 200 employees and operates in 140 cities spread across eight countries. In less than nine months, Rocket built Helpling from nothing into a global e-commerce company.
In Silicon Valley, Rocket is often dismissed as a copy-cat artist, making half-baked versions of other people’s ideas. But that misses the point of what Rocket has become and what it cares about. Its real claim to innovation is its methodical approach to identifying digital business models, launching startups, and then growing them quickly. In the last few years, Rocket has created 65 businesses, fueling its own growth that resulted in its recent $1.8 billion IPO in early October.
While Silicon Valley cherishes originality and the romantic notion of the lone founder conjuring innovative ideas, Rocket is focused on speed and size in order to seize opportunities in less sexy markets. Where entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley search for ideas to dazzle their peers, Rocket pursues what it calls “butter and beer” businesses that aim to fill simple, everyday needs of consumers in places where online services are not quite as commonplace as they are in an area like San Francisco.
Full Story: Venture Beat