When it’s not cloning e-commerce stores at a prodigious rate, Berlin’s Rocket Internet also dabbles in cloning new payment technologies. Payleven was the Square clone –although there are now many of those in Europe — and Paymill the Stripe clone.
On Monday the Samwer Brothers’ accelerator announced significant funding for Paymill, namely €10 million ($13 million) from regular Rocket investor Holtzbrinck Ventures and first-timer Sunstone Capital. The cash will go towards boosting Paymill’s technical platform and customer services.
As with Stripe, Paymill’s raison d’être is to give developers a simple, API-driven way to integrate payments into their sites without having to bear the responsibility of handling sensitive payment details.
However, there’s a pretty big difference, and one which should be familiar to observers of the Samwer Brothers’ standard methods: internationalization. Stripe is available in the U.S. and Canada. Paymill, which launched a mere five months ago, is available across 34 countries in Europe and elsewhere.
As has been the case particularly in the last year or so, Rocket’s cloning ways have proven highly lucrative in terms of investment. Barely a month goes by without the company or one of its many ‘startups’ slurping up tens of millions, with the most enthusiastic investors these days being JP Morgan and Sweden’s Kinnevik.
Indeed, so great is the momentum behind Rocket right now that there’s even a rumor of the company going public. That report is unconfirmed (I’m awaiting a response from Rocket, though not holding my breath) but it does seem remarkably detailed.
Of course, if Rocket does float, it won’t be the Paymill and Payleven stuff that’s high on investors’ priority lists: it will be the dozens of cloned e-commerce operations that Rocket is ramming into Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America. But, that said, there’s clearly plenty of cash flowing into those more technological plays, and there’s no reason to see that stopping anytime soon.