Jiji, a fast-growing online classifieds marketplace, has acquired OLX in Nigeria and four other African countries.
As part of the deal, the OLX users in Nigeria would be directed to Jiji marketplace in a transaction backed by one of Jiji’s cornerstone investors, Digital Spring Ventures, a statement issued by Naspers on the acquisition said on Wednesday.
According to the statement, both companies have also reached an agreement to acquire the other OLX businesses in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, subject to regulatory approvals.
After concluding the deal, it said all users of the sell-and-buy classifieds websites of OLX Nigeria, OLX Ghana, OLX Kenya, OLX Tanzania, and OLX Uganda would be redirected to Jiji.
It added that joining Jiji’s family would allow OLX users in these countries to benefit from Jiji’s market-leading products and services.
Commenting on the deal, the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Jiji, Anton Volyansky, said, “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.”
The Board Director and Co-founder of Jiji, Vladimir Mnogoletniy, commented, “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.”
A partner at Digital Spring Ventures, Zhanibek Sydykov, said, “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.”
OLX closed its business in Nigeria last year February but maintained its online marketplace while laying off workers, as part of the process to consolidate its operations in the country.
The e-commerce industry has been experiencing divestment in the country over the years. Efritin.com closed down in 2017, citing the high cost of doing business as reasons for the exit. Konga, in which Naspers is a major investor, also sold its business to Zinox Group in 2018.