What are the most popular Airbnb clones

WiWo founder

Resignations, unfulfilled expectations: Things are not looking good for Rocket Internet's Airbnb clone - Wimdu could be on the verge of extinction.

It's not a good sign: 60 employees received termination agreements last week. The company only informed Manager Magazin that it was "in an extensive restructuring process" - and that there could be savings in personnel.

The start-up started in 2011 with huge ambitions; the two founders wanted to become world market leaders in the field of private travel accommodation. And at first things looked good for Wimdu: Rocket Internet and the Swedish corporation Kinnevik invested a total of 90 million dollars, within four months the company grew to 400 employees and 15 offices worldwide, meanwhile it should only be 250 employees.

The big plans were followed by great disillusionment: unlike Airbnb, there was no rapid growth, and an initial restructuring of the international offices was the result. Rocket Internet tried to get rid of the start-up, but nobody wanted to buy Wimdu. After the first round of financing there was probably no more money, just a media partnership with Mediasat, Silvio Berlusconi's Italian broadcasting group. That was good for the number of bookings - at least temporarily.

Most recently, however, a court ruling caused further annoyance: In Berlin, apartments can only be rented to tourists in exceptional cases. Anyone who does it without a permit risks a fine of up to 100,000 euros. Wimdu filed a lawsuit against the controversial misappropriation ban before the administrative court - and lost. The result of the revision is still open.

Like its role model Airbnb, Wimdu arranges private accommodation for overnight stays. According to its own information, the Berlin clone has 350,000 apartments in more than 150 countries. For comparison: the US model has around one million advertisements in around 190 cities worldwide.