Nigerian online marketplace Jiji is to acquire the businesses of fellow classifieds platform OLX in Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania, and redirect OLX users in Nigeria to its own platform.
All users of OLX Nigeria, OLX Ghana, OLX Kenya, OLX Tanzania, and OLX Uganda's sell-and-buy classifieds websites will be redirected to Jiji.
The agreement, which is pending certain regulatory approvals, means Jiji is now the leading classifieds marketplace in Africa, with the consolidated audiences of itself and OLX - a Naspers company - creating a single user base of just over eight million monthly unique users.
The transaction is supported by one of Jiji's principal investors, Digital Spring Ventures, and enables OLX users in these four new markets to benefit from Jiji products and services. The parties said OLX's reach combined with Jiji's own proprietary search and delivery algorithms would create a more streamlined experience for consumers.
"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, chief executive officer and co-founder of Jiji.
Vladimir Mnogoletniy, board director and co-founder of Jiji, said the partnership was 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.
"We continue to act as a long-term investor in Africa and are excited by the exceptional opportunities, this young and dynamic continent has to offer. In the next two to three years we aim to be one of the top 10 classifieds businesses in the world by traffic," he said.
OLX general manager in Africa, Middle East and Asia Sjoerd Nikkelen said though the company was proud of its achievements in Africa, and the sustainable businesses it had built in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, it was continually evaluating its portfolio of classifieds businesses to ensure a disciplined approach to how and where it allocated 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," he said.