Tunisia’s Magasin Général Acquires Majority Stake In eCommerce Startup Founa
According to reports, Tunisian eCommerce platform, Founa, has been added to the portfolio of Magasin Général; a leading retailer in Tunisia, in an acquisition deal. Although the actual outlay for the acquisition is yet to be disclosed, sources suggest that as much as 80 percent stake in the startup has been transferred to Magasin Général by virtue of the deal.
Founa came into existence in 2013, and since its launch, the startup has seen its stock rise as an online retailer that specialises in the sale of consumer goods. The eCommerce platform which is the brainchild of Karim Skik prides itself as one of the first online supermarkets in Tunisia.
Founa boasts over 11,000 product listings on its platform with competitive pricing. The platform also allows for both online and cash-on-delivery payment options.
The startup’s operations are known to be boosted by the fact that it has a claim to an efficient delivery team and its fleet of delivery trucks. This factor is believed to weigh in heavily in the company’s current delivery efforts in parts of Greater Tunis, Hammamet, Monastir, Nabeul, and Sousse. Founa currently boasts a clientele of over 5,000 customers while also claiming a turnover of around USD 900 K from the previous year.
Having now added Founa to its portfolio, Magasin Général seems poised to further consolidate its position as a market leader in the Tunisian retail space. The Tunis Stock Exchange-listed company took pole position in the sector back in 2012 when it saw its outlets rise to 66 stores. Between then and now, its number of outlets have grown even further to an impressive 91.
More so, figures from a financial report made public by the company around the middle of this year suggest that Magasin Général raked in a profit of up to USD 3 Mn in H1 of 2018.
With the latest acquisition, the retail giant appears to be tightening its grip on the Tunisian retail space, and this is assertion is even buttressed further by the fact that the company is known to have reached a partnership agreement with UntieNots; a French AI startup, in June this year.
According to the specifics of the agreement, the AI startup which specialises in promotion and loyalty in retail has the mandate to analyse the purchase habits/paths of nearly a million Magasin Général customers using its AI tool dubbed; “Retail Analytics.”
The move is aimed at facilitating operational segmentation and pinpointing the location of each of the brand’s stores. Ultimately, the customisation of the brand’s offers and services, with customer preferences and expectations in mind, is the primary goal.
The acquisition of Founa by Magasin Général has all the makings of a development that was recorded nearly a year ago where Nigerian online retail platform, Konga, was reported to have been gobbled up by offline store, Zinox.
And perhaps it does set a precedent for what is shaping up into a trend which suggests that a successful eCommerce business in Africa requires a strong offline presence, hence, the mergers and acquisition. However, for companies with the financial might, going solo does seem like a no-brainer.
Feature image courtesy: Leader