The pick of the week’s news: CTO of StudiVZ Volker Schmidt will quit in September after just a couple of months in the job; design-your-own startup 123Skins has filed for bankruptcy; Scoreloop says it is growing by 100,000 users a day; two Otto Group discount stores are being taken offline; and Holtzbrinck offloaded a 60 percent majority share in Medikompass.
StudiVZ loses another CTO
StudiVZ‘s difficulties in holding on to a Chief Technical Officer continue with news that CTO Volker Schmidt is due to leave the social networking company in September. According to information from the blog VZlogs (German), Volker Schmidt is quitting in September, a little over two months after starting his new job. In June, former CTO Jodok Batlogg quit over differences of opinion with the executive board.
123Skins declares bankruptcy
The design-your-own startup 123Skins is insolvent and officially filed for bankruptcy at a Berlin court on 13 August. The company made a strong start – including winning a Financial Times competition for new web ventures – but failed to live up to its early promise and struggled to become profitable. Joel Kaczmarek looks into the bankruptcy of 123Skins, and offers a brief post mortem.
Scoreloop gets 100K new users a day
Munich-based startup Scoreloop is growing at the rate of 100,000 users a day. In an interview with CNET, Scoreloop’s CEO Mark Gumpinger said: “To put it in perspective, Google just communicated a week ago that they activate 200,000 new devices per day. We’re growing at half the size Android is today.” On Tuesday the cross-platform social gaming network announced a partnership with Springhouse Entertainment, a subsidiary of Taiwanese mobile operator Chungwa Telecom, as it continues to push into Asia.
Discount24 and Yalook go offline
The two online stores Discount24 and Yalook will be shuttered at the end of the year. Owners the Otto Group say goodbye to a business model that has never quite triumphed: Discount24 has never been profitable in its 10 years online, according to a company spokesman. The brands would be retained, however. A total of 100 employees are affected.
Holtzbrinck sells majority share in Medikompass
Holtzbrinck eLab has sold its 60 percent majority stake in Medikompass, a doctor dentist price comparison site. The shares were acquired in a management buyout by Jürgen Popp and Rony Vogel for an undisclosed price. Markus Schunk, CFO of Holtzbrinck Digital, said Holtzbrinck’s commitment to health-themed investments – such as its successful netdoktor platform – would continue. “[But] the business development of Medikompass GmbH unfortunately fell short of our expectations,” he said.