Naspers‘ owned OLX Group has officially acquired online vehicle marketplace AutoTrader after approval by South Africa authorities.
According to AutoTrader CEO George Mienie, “We are excited to work with the OLX Group that is part of a global company. Our customers can stand to benefit substantially from investment in product innovation as a result.”
“Our vehicle shoppers can look forward to continuous improvements to further enhance consumer experience through investment in online vehicle shopping tools” he added.
Though now owned and part of OLX Group, AutoTrader will remain a separate brand but will gain access to OLX’s tech teams and experience to grow the platform to reach more users in the country. OLX too is likely to expand AutoTrader to various of its markets across Africa where Cheki Africa, a Ringier-owned company is operating.
OLX had already started investing heavily in the auto category.
In April, the firm introduced OLX Champs, to help users sell their items on the site. The auto category was the one hugely in focus. After a few months, OLX followed it up with verified cars category to boost the safety of buyers looking for cars on their site. Verified Cars now have verified badges and OLX is more involved in the transaction.
Speaking at the time, Mr. Peter Ndiang’ui, OLX country manager said, “Our new verified cars category is a further step to ensuring that car buyers are guaranteed of safety when buying cars in our platform. It is very different from our normal vehicles category in that, a buyer is now able to buy cars that have been checked and verified by OLX car experts before being uploaded to our site.”
With AutoTrader, OLX will likely go back to its core business and leave its sister auto vertical platform AutoTrader to focus on cars.
“Based on what we see in other markets around the world, the pace of innovation in the vehicle buying and selling space is picking up and global consumer-facing technology platforms are entering,” said Sjoerd Nikkelen OLX Group General Manager for Africa, Middle East, and Asia.
NIkkelen added that the acquisition will give them the scale to lead this coming wave of innovation and disruption and employ deep data skills to benefit dealers and consumers alike.