A fast-growing online classifieds marketplace, Jiji, has completed the acquisition of OLX in Nigeria and 4 other countries in Africa.
As part of this deal, the users of OLX in Nigeria would now move to the Jiji marketplace. The transaction was backed by Digital Spring Ventures — one of Jiji’s cornerstone investors — as acknowledged in a statement made by Naspers on the acquisition last week.
The 2 companies, according to the statement, have also agreed to acquire the other businesses of OLX in 4 other African countries, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania, based on regulatory approvals.
After the deal was concluded, it was stated that every user of the sell-and-buy classifieds sites belonging to OLX Nigeria, OLX Kenya, OLX Ghana, OLX Uganda, and OLX Tanzania would now be re-directed to the Jiji online platform.
Joining Jiji’s family, the statement added, would let users of OLX in those countries to derive benefits from Jiji’s market-leading products as well as services.
Anton Volyansky, who is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Jiji, while commenting on this deal, remarked: “Users will always come first for us. We warmly welcome OLX’s customers to the Jiji family and we look forward to our new customers joining Jiji on its journey to empower the lives of its customers by providing a safer, more secure and enjoyable online shopping experience.”
Vladimir Mnogoletniy, the Board Director and Co-founder of Jiji, also said, “We believe that this transaction is pivotal for Jiji’s business. 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 two to three years, ours will be one of the top 10 classifieds businesses in the world by traffic.”
Zhanibek Sydykov, a partner at Digital Spring Ventures, explained: “We are pleased to be able to assist our partners at Jiji on this transaction and we strongly believe that the combined Jiji and OLX businesses will become a formidable force in the African e-commerce market. This transaction further advances the consumer reach of one of the star portfolio companies in our current fund, which is focused on partnering with ambitious entrepreneurs to deploy capital in the Internet and technology sectors in some of the world’s most exciting emerging markets.”
Last year February, you would recall that OLX closed its business in Nigeria. However, it maintained its online marketplace as it laid off workers, in a move that was part of the plan to consolidate its operations in the country.
Over the years, the e-commerce industry has been going through divestment in Nigeria. A classified advertisements website, Efritin.com, closed down in 2017, a development occasioned by the high cost of doing business in the country. Also, popular online marketplace Konga, in which Naspers is a major investor, sold off its business in 2018 to Zinox Group.