Empire of Startup Knockoffs Wins Backing From the World Bank

Oliver Samwer in Berlin on July 8, 2013 Photograph by Andreas Chudowski/Redux

Germany’s clone kings, the Samwer brothers, have long drawn criticism for rolling out international copycat versions of American e-commerce businesses such as eBay, Groupon, and Fab. Now their Berlin-based startup factory, Rocket Internet, has received praise and funding from a surprising source: the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. The alleged copycat brothers and their e-clones, it turns, are helping to create jobs.

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