Duriana launches, looks almost identical to Carousell

Backed by former Rocket Internet staffers, marketplace app Duriana launches with its app and site looking almost identical to fellow Singapore-based startup, Carousell.

Duriana, a new marketplace app, has just hit the Singaporean scene. 

The app looks really similar to another Singapore-based marketplace startup Carousell, which just made the news last week after it raised S$1 million (US$802.55 million) in funding from Rakuten, Golden Gate Ventures, and 500 Startups, among others.

Duriana and Carousell's apps, side-by-side
Duriana and Carousell's apps, side-by-side

Not only are the apps similar, the two websites are too uncanny as well (see the two images below).

The lower half of Duriana's website
The lower half of Duriana's website
The lower half of Carousell's site
The lower half of Carousell's site

Duriana's iPhone app was approved and listed on the Apple App Store on October 10, and the Android version was listed on Monday. Like Carousell, the C2C (consumer-to-consumer) marketplace is mobile-only, and sports similar features such as nearby listings.

Duriana's two co-founders, Camilo Paredes and Amanda Ernst, are ex-staffers of Rocket Internet, where Paredes was Latin America's managing director and Ernst was Latin America's regional operations director. So, it appears they may know a thing or two about cloning another site --one of Rocket Internet's business tactics.

According to the Duriana website, the startup has four staff including its two founders. The other two members are Luka Mirosevic, its technical lead, and Dirk Van Quaquebeke, the company's lead partner and founding partner at Alps Ventures

duriana logo winner
Duriana's logo was picked from a contest where 41 designs were submitted. (source: 99designs.com.sg)

Alps Ventures is described as a "venture builder" with offices in Vienna and Singapore, and its model is to create startups in hopes of selling them off to larger tech companies. It previously built DailyDeal in Germany, which Google bought, and DoctorPage.sg, which sold to Singaporean site DocDoc.

Presumably, Duriana is funded by Alps Ventures and is running on a relatively humble budget. It paid just US$299 on 99designs.com for its logo. According to its briefing document listed on the site, the startup is positioning itself at the 17 to 35 year-old smartphone user demographics, and wants to be perceived as "fun, not childish".

[Update: Duriana's co-founder Ernst responded to me to say that the conceptualization and designing for the app had begun in April this year in Europe, and that the founders had not heard of Carousell or anything similar in Asia. 

She added: "There are competing marketplaces that (have grown) through big content partnerships with traditional classifieds, leaving them with uncurated inventory as a result. With Duriana, we intend to adopt a more targeted and curated approach to our inventory."]

Just before its announced its funding round, Carousell managed to establish partnerships with large local media properties such as SPH Magazines. In August, it launched a cross-marketplace with women's magazine Her World, allowing sellers to reach the local fashion magazine's reader base.

Carousell declined to comment.