Nigerian online classifieds marketplace Jiji.ng has acquired Naspers-backed OLX businesses in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. While the deal is yet to be finalized, OLX users in Nigeria will be redirected to Jiji once the regulatory approvals go through.
The transaction is being supported by one of the buyer’s principal investors, Digital Spring Ventures. Per a statement from Naspers, the deal will enable OLX users in the concerned countries to benefit from Jiji’s market-leading products and services that have gotten top shopping ranking from Nigerian Android users. The agreement could mean that Jiji’s operations will no longer be restricted to Nigeria, which could ultimately make the online business the single largest classifieds platform in Africa.
According to Jiji, it will put efforts in the pipeline to make the transfer as seamless as possible, to provide a high-quality user experience across all geographies. The classifieds platform is the highest ranked app in the Nigerian e-commerce space, having more than 6 million unique active users and 50,000 professional sellers listing more than 1 million items in a rapidly growing market of no less than 200 million people.
The deal comes at a time when the e-commerce market in Africa is at its busiest. It also makes OLX one of the Nigerian e-commerce businesses that have totally concluded business in the West African country, the region and East Africa. Loss-making e-commerce giant JUMIA filed for listing on the New York Stock Exchange to scale business in Africa’s challenging economy, a bandwagon which MasterCard join as an investor just last week. Previously, Nigeria’s B2C e-commerce startup Gloo closed doors and reopened them as a B2B marketplace Gloopro due to the hurdled nature of the business in the continent.
Jiji founder and CEO Anton Volyansky said: “We extend the warmest welcome to OLX’s users to Jiji and look forward to transforming the online retail experience in Africa as the region continues to transform itself economically and technologically. Jiji aims to provide its customers with the safest, most secure and enjoyable online shopping experience possible.”
Vladimir Mnogoletniy, Board Director and co-founder of Jiji commented: “We believe that this transaction is pivotal for Jiji’s business. We are a long-term investor in Africa and believe in the exceptional opportunities that exist in this amazing continent. With this transaction we plan to build the largest Africa-based classifieds business, creating a new experience for Africa’s fastest-developing countries and their combined population of 300 million. We firmly believe that in the next 2-3 years ours will be one of the top 10 classifieds businesses in the world by traffic.”
Sjoerd Nikkelen, General Manager of OLX in Africa, Middle East, and Asia, said “We are proud of our achievements in Africa, and the sustainable businesses we have built in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. We continually evaluate our portfolio of classifieds businesses to ensure a disciplined approach to how and where we allocate capital and management time. With our focus on accelerating the growth of other markets, now is an opportune time to sell our interests in these markets. We are pleased that Jiji will continue to provide the exceptional quality of products and services that the customers in these countries have come to know and enjoy from OLX.”