Czech company INET, which runs one of country’s most successful
e-commerce sites, has opened a subsidiary in Berlin, Germany, reversing the direction of Internet business expansion in Western Europe.
According to Peter Ulrich, managing director of INET, the Internet boom “gave wings” to the company, which was then able to “grow from scratch into multinational company in three years — even in a country affected by economic recession.”
INET has run its group of e-commerce servers since February 1995 under the name of Virtualni Obchodni Dum (Virtual Department Store). It now sells wide range of consumer products, including books, music, computer hardware and software, cameras, and even bicycles. Thanks to this wide assortment, the store has become popular among young people who appreciate its aggressive pricing.
INET uses its own e-commerce software solutions and sells its own software development products to other e-traders. These solutions are based mainly on WebSpeed, a transaction system developed and sold by Progress Software.
INET was one of the founders of Czech trade association APEK (E-Commerce Association) as well as it is member of pilot project for safe payments via Internet SET (Secure Electronic Transactions). SET is sponsored by IBM and the largest Czech bank, Komercni Banka, and is based on the specifications of Secure Electronic Transaction LLC.
In its next move, INET plans to split its business into two separate companies, one for running e-commerce activities, the other for software development. Current expansion of INET is enabled by the recent entrance of Czech venture capital group Cash Reform Group, which invested in INET along with its partner company from Germany, bmp AG.