Social gifting service Wrapp is going where few others have succeeded before — by taking on the controversial Samwer brothers on their home territory.
Wrapp, which allows people to send each other gifts and gift cards through Facebook, announced on Wednesday that it was now live in Germany, the latest in a series of rollouts across Europe and North America.
Given that it’s already rolled out in the U.K. and US that might not seem like a big deal. But in the face of a clone, DropGifts, from the notorious copy shop Rocket Internet it’s not just a business strategy: it’s a statement.
The spat goes back to February, when I reported how the Samwers had crossed a line by cloning Wrapp, then just weeks old. That move generated an angry response from Wrapp CEO Hjalmar Winbladh, who said the company was speeding up rollout as a direct response.
This is what he told me at the time:
The company’s entire roadmap has been moved forward. The site currently only operates in Sweden, but Winbladh says a slew of new territories will be added much faster than had previously been expected — we’re talking weeks, not months. This, he believes, should prevent DropGifts from being the first mover in most important markets.
“We don’t have the luxury of being able to wait,” says Winbladh. “So we decided to speed up since the Samwers started their blitz against us.”
It’s only two months since Wrapp said it would rush to market to take on DropGifts, but even though they’ve got there fast there is still a major challenge to deal with.
Not many companies succeed against the Samwers when they clone a company for the German market — in fact, that’s precisely what they’ve built their empire from: selling local copycats to companies like eBay (s EBAY) and Groupon (s GRPN) for vast profit. Now we’ll be able to see if Wrapp can succeed where others have failed.