The race to become Zappos of Russia (or Zalando of Russia) gets underway. In July 2010, the French Direct Group of Pascal Clement and the German Otto Group-backed eVenture Capital funded the Russian online shoe store Sapato. In November 2010, Investment AB Kinnevik contributed $2 million of $5 million round in Sapato.
The other Russian online shoe store Lamoda.ru has raised funding from Tengelmann Group, Holtzbrinck Ventures and Investment AB Kinnevik. Launched in February 2011, Lamoda.ru is operated by Moscow-based KupiShoes. The store was initially funded by the German internet business incubator Rocket Internet (Samwer brothers) of CEO Florian Heinemann. Rocket Internet launched German’s largest online shoe retailer Zalando.de in 2008. Tengelmann Group and Holzbrinck also invested in Zalando.
The word “Kupi” (or “Buy” in Russian) is becoming a “must have” to launch a successful e-commerce venture in Russia. Remember, KupiVIP (leading Russian online shopping club) and KupiBonus (online coupon service).
Tengelmann Group is an international multi-segment retailer whose subsidiaries include OBI, KiK, Kaiser’s Tengelmann and Plus Online. The family business was founded in 1867 in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany and is now managed by the 5th successive generation. Tengelmann Group, which operates in 15 countries including OBI in Russia, has annual sales of EUR 11.3 billion.
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