Rocket Internet’s Wimdu rumoured to be struggling to find buyers2013-01-29 3
According to Focus, industry insiders say potential investors have been put off due to the tough competition from US rival Airbnb.
The incubator is reported to be looking for buyers for the accommodation site but so far no one is biting. This is likely to be of concern for the Samwer brothers, who invested $90m in Wimdu via Rocket Internet along with main investors Kinnevik in November 2011 shortly after the startup launched.
Rocket Internet was unavailable for comment on the matter.
Wimdu was founded by serial entrepreneurs Arne Bleckwenn and Hinrich Dreiling and is available across Europe, along with Asia, North and South America. So far, Wimdu has struggled to compete with market leader Airbnb, which is going from strength to strength, expanding to 192 countries worldwide since starting up in San Fransisco in 2007.
Meanwhile, Wimdu has already suffered setbacks in its expansion – in August 2012, Wimdu announced it was trimming its international offices and shortly after launching in 2011, 50 staff members were let go due to too-rapid growth post-launch.
Is there too much competition in Germany?
The peer-to-peer accommodation industry is becoming increasingly crowded in the German marketplace. According to Focus, Stephan Uhrenbacher’s 9flats, another German clone of Airbnb, is a competitor that is also struggling to find buyers, after receiving a two-figure million funding round from T-Venture.
Berlin-based Roomsurfer (which last week announced a fresh funding round) is another startup tapping into the peer-to-peer accommodation market, though it provides a social element, bringing travellers with similar interests together.
HouseTrip, another leading European player based in London, Lausanne and Lisbon, is also available in Germany.
Within this context of competition, it wouldn’t surprise if Wimdu failed to provide the big exit the Samwers were hoping for…