Bamarang, an online venture by Rocket Internet founders Samwer brothers, is going to close down, reports BusinessWeek. Bamarang is a fab.com clone, and offers products ranging from accessories to shoes, furniture, posters, necklaces. Readers should note that there is an Indian website for Bamarang – Bamarang.in, which has only recently been launched.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that groups other businesses are being rolled back (yet): Mark, Oliver and Alexander Samwer owned Rocket Internet has been aggressively launching clones of various successful businesses, and they entered the Indian market in 2011 end with the launch of Jabong, a clone of US based Zappos. Other ventures in India from the group include Heaven and Home and Fab Furnish. Their modus operandi is to replicate successful (or potentially successful) businesses models and aggressively scale them: Bamarang was launched globally in January this year, and rolled out in 12 countries, including India, and now the plan, according to the BusinessWeek story, is to focus on WestWing, a clone of home decor sales site OneKingsLane. Note that Heaven and Home is the Indian version of WestWing – even the design is exactly the same.
Rocket Internet appears to be spending an enormous amount of money on promoting Jabong – that competitors appears to have cut back on spends must be helping them – but the company will soon realize that India isn’t an easy market to operate in, and just spending money will not necessarily ensure substantive growth in sales for their ventures. The Springstar Incubator, an initiative which Harish Bahl’s Smile Group is a part of, appears to be replicating the Rocket Internet model, though has got a few venture capitalists to invest in their businesses, but I don’t think this is a market where you launch multiple businesses simultaneously, and try and scale too quickly. Rockets rise quickly, but they also burn out quickly. These businesses may not be able to find a buyer at the right time.