Rocket ‘to Clone Gifting Service Wrapp’ as Dropgifts

By David Knight |


Rocket Internet’s next clone startup will be called Dropgifts and will be modeled on the Wrapp gift-giving service, Silicon Allee understands. Two Facebook pages have already been set up for the new service from Rocket, the Samwer brothers’ investment vehicle, a hint that it will launch sooner rather than later.

Dropgifts domain names are apparently owned by a senior figure at Rocket although access to the websites currently requires a username and password. There are Facebook pages in English and German, however, with the former declaring: “Give share and celebrate!” (Update: These sites appear to have been taken down over the weekend)

The site also includes three bullet points: “Surprise your friends with free gift cards”, “Choose from a variety of awesome brands” and “Sign up and start Dropping free gifts today”. The “awesome brands” include some names from Rocket’s very own stable, such as Zalando and Wimdu.

Rocket is renowned, and in some places reviled, for repeatedly creating ‘clones’ of successful startups founded elsewhere in the world, usually the US. This time, however, the target is closer to home – Wrapp is based in Sweden.

But it’s no surprise that the gift-giving service offered up such a juicy target. Wrapp recently announced Greylock Partners was adding $5 million to its Series A funding and co-leading the round – now worth $11.5 million – with Atomico, the VC firm fronted by Skype co-founder Niklas Zenström. The company was founded in the first half of 2011 and is based in Stockholm and Silicon Valley.

Wrapp allows users to “celebrate friends and family with free gift cards” provided by top companies, which benefit as it allows them to fix the cost of attracting new customers. In January, the service was reportedly growing an astonishing 30 percent week-on-week, with Greylock partner Reid Hoffman saying: “This is a viable, profitable business model from the get-go, with hooks into some of the top global and national merchants in the biggest markets worldwide.”

This certainly makes the gift-giving market an intriguing one for entrepreneurs and investors alike, offering an interesting space following the discount deal market but one which attracts a more sustainable group of customers who have the motivation to use the service beyond pure discounts.

But Rocket seem intent on sticking to Wrapp’s classical e-commerce model rather than developing something which would give users the experience associated with gifting itself. Such social gift-giving services do exist, with plenty of other services already in the market including GiftRocket, Karma, dropost and Giftly in the US and Berlin’s BuddyLabs, which released its Buddy Beers iPhone app on Monday.

There was no reply to an email sent to Rocket by Silicon Allee on Friday asking for comment. It does seem, however, that gift-giving will prove to be a significant trend in 2012.