Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].
Serial cloner Rocket Internet may be widely reviled, but few deny that it’s fast. In fact, some say the company is as fast at shutting down an unsuccessful idea as it is at copying a successful one. A report from SG Entrepreneuers claims Rocket has laid off employees of its Home24.sg online furniture store.
As of the time of writing, the company’s website remains functional, but customer service requests have reportedly gone unanswered. Home24 launched in Singapore and Malaysia earlier this year as part of a fast entry into Southeast Asia. Within months of touching down, Rocket had hired hundreds of employees across several different countries in the region and had launched several of its businesses.
TNW has contacted Rocket Internet for comment on the status of Home24’s Singapore division.
It has been a tumultuous month for Rocket, which is run by the Samwer brothers. The company pulled out of Turkey and also shut down development operations in China. It is also believed to have recently downsized in the Philippines and Pakistan.
If the company held onto its stake in Groupon, it could be feeling the squeeze. Since Groupon’s IPO last year, shares of the company have lost 83 percent of their value. In April, Groupon broke off a consulting relationship with the Samwer brothers, who founded the CityDeal clone that Groupon bought to expand internationally, after Marc Samwer was replaced as head of international operations
News hasn’t been all bad for Rocket, though. On Wednesday, it finalized a deal with Millicom International Cellular to invest in new companies across Latin America and Africa. The company is also taking its Payleven Square clone global with entry into Poland, The Netherlands, Brazil and the UK.
Rocket is believed to be operational in over 50 countries with more than 30 companies.
Image credit: Pond5
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