1) Marc, Oliver and Alexander Samwer founded Alando, a German version of the online website eBay in 1999. Just 100 days later, Alando was sold to eBay for €38 million. This was just the beginning of their success story.
2) The Samwer brother’s successful technique involves an initial investment in a company, and then just as the company begins to find its bearings and has started making profits, they sell it. Their technique has worked for them so far, and they have made millions of Euros in profits.
3) Since they were young boys, the brothers had agreed to create a company. This was an ambitious goal for teenage boys to make, but they were committed to their plan. They were initially interested in airplanes and airline companies, but figured this plan would cost too much money. When the Internet arrived, the Samwers were immediately attracted to the hundreds of possibilities of the online world.
4) In 1998, after gaining interest in the opportunities of the Internet, the brothers decided to visit Silicon Valley. They worked as interns, hungry for any knowledge that they could use to their advantage. They attended talks and speeches, and it is here that they discovered eBay. They were amazed by the idea, and decided to start something like it in Europe. Which is exactly what they did.
5) Some notable successful investments include Studivz, a German version of Facebook. The company was sold in 2007 for €100 million. Another investment that created much criticism was MyCityDeal, which they sold to Groupon for around €100 million. The brothers created MyCityDeal in 2010, which became very popular all over Europe in just a matter of months.
6) The public does not always appreciate brilliant minds. That is why the Samwer brothers have tended to keep their lives private, and very rarely will give interviews. They also avoid public speeches and appearances, and have been known to walk out of interviews whenever they feel fit.
7) The brothers come from different academic backgrounds. Alexander, the youngest, has an MBA from the Harvard School of Business. Oliver has a business degree from WHU, a distinguished German business school. Marc, the oldest brother, has a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Cologne.
8) Oliver gave a rare interview in Berlin, in front of a crowd of 130 people. He compared himself to Bob the Builder, saying that some people were good at inventing (Einsteins), and some people were good at executing those inventions (Bob the Builders). This was Oliver’s first appearance in over three years, as he would rather conduct private meetings.
9) The Samwer’s invention of Rocket Internet is what aids them in their further investments. Rocket Internet helps companies literally, ‘start up’. It is involved with launching the company, hiring the staff, and managing the company, until the start-up company is able to operate on its own. Revenue and net worth are kept quite private, but is the company is rumored to be worth at least US$ 1 billion.
10) Rocket Internet, though a very young company, has proved successful. The company has launched over 30 start-up companies. Only a small number of these, 5 to be exact, have been unable to work and have failed.
11) One of the Samwer brother’s successful startups is Payleven, a mobile payment company. As of late 2012, it is the only company of its kind to have included a chip and pin reader, which many credit card companies have begun to use for increased security.
12) How are the Samwer brothers able to invest in companies they are not always 100% sure of? The answer is their intelligent investment of earnings made in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They use this money to invest in their start-up companies, and more often than not, end up making quite the profit.
13) The Samwer brothers only want the best of the best to manage their startups with the Rocket Internet Company. They hire MBA trained professionals to run their start-up businesses. Because these businesses are copies of already accomplished websites and have reputable managers, they become instant successes.
14) The Samwer brothers make sure to take part in the annual “Idea Lab” business school conference for promising entrepreneurs. This is where the brothers usually find their group of CEOs they would like to run their start-up companies using Rocket Internet.
15) The Samwer brothers not only have to face public criticism, but also have recently begun to receive complaints from within their company, Rocket Internet. Employees have been leaving the company to begin their own ventures.
16) The IT techs of Europe have become increasingly worried about the possible domino effect the Samwer brother’s company may have in Europe. They believe that seeing the success of the Samwer brothers will encourage others to begin their own ‘copycat’ businesses, and will diminish the idea of innovation in Europe. Entrepreneurs will think that the best way to make money is to copy a company, create it where it does not exist, and then sell it back to the original company.
17) If you remember the “Crazy Frog” ringtone, then you will know the Samwer brothers. The tune was at first considered annoying, but the catchy tune found itself at number one on charts across Europe and was popularized all over the world.
18) The brothers have great loyalty not just within themselves, but also within their company and the founders. It is not always a perfect arrangement, but the commitment each worker shows to the company and each other has helped them grow into a success.
19) The Samwer brothers had great inspiration ever since they were young. Their parents who were both lawyers provided them with continued support and inspiration. The brothers enjoy spending time with one another, and as children were each other’s best friend.
20) Oliver, who has been unofficially deemed the spokesperson for the trio, claims that money is not what they are after. If it had been, they would have stopped their tactics years ago. Oliver says that they love the feeling of winning. They want the world to know that they are the best, and will prove this again and again.