Leading Nigerian online marketplace Jiji acquires OLX’s businesses in four African countries

One of Nigeria’s foremost online classifieds marketplace, Jiji has reached an agreement to acquire OLX’s businesses in four other African countries, while OLX users in Nigeria would be redirected to Jiji. The countries are Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania. The move, which will see Jiji build a leading pan-African business is subject to regulatory approval. The details of the deal was not revealed.

“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,” said Anton Volyansky, CEO and co-founder of Jiji.

This comes a year after it was reported that OLX, owned by Multinational media group and investor Naspers, was shutting down operations in all of their branches across Africa except South Africa.

Sjoerd Nikkelen, General Manager of OLX in Africa, Middle East and Asia said while commenting on the deal, “We are proud of our achievements in Africa, and the sustainable businesses we have built in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda […]. With our focus on accelerating the growth of other markets, now is […a good] 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,” Nikkelen added.

Jiji is one of the highest rated marketplaces in the Nigerian e-commerce space with over six million unique active users, and 50,000 professional sellers listing over one million items in a rapidly growing market of 200 million people. OLX’s reach combined with Jiji’s own proprietary search and delivery algorithms will create a more streamlined experience for consumers.

According to Vladimir Mnogoletniy, Board Director and co-founder of Jiji, the partnership is pivotal to Jiji’s future business model and success, as it paves the way for building the continent’s largest Africa-based classified business serving a market with a combined population of over 300 million in some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

This deal shows the continuous hurdles that online platform faces in Africa. Apart from OLX.com, Efritin.com also shut down its operations in the African countries where it operates, including Nigeria, where the shutting down of such businesses is no longer new. This also raises questions of what goes wrong in the online space. Is there an issue with the business model currently adopted by players in the industry? It also begs the question of Africa’s readiness for online commerce, which increasingly looks like it is in its early stage of development after almost a decade. surprisingly Jiji is still betting on the classifieds business in Africa where others have failed.

“What made us stand out of the crowd in Nigeria, is that we understood very well how to win the market and we have created a tailor-made product for the Nigerian users,” a statement from Jiji made available to TheNerve Africa said.