Abu-Dhabi fund backs Ukrainian-owned African marketplace

On December 9 the African online marketplace Jiji announced the completion of a $21 million in a Series C round led by Abu Dhabi-based Knuru Capital. The identity of five other investors was not disclosed.

Jiji was co-founded by Vladimir Mnogoletniy and is backed by Genesis, a Kyiv- (Kiev-) based company which has developed a variety of Internet and mobile projects.

“We are the largest marketplace in Africa where people can sell pretty much anything… We are like a combination of eBay and Craigslist for Africa,” Mnogoletniy said in an exchange with TechCrunch.

Jiji’s platforms in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda claim two million listings and eight million unique monthly users in 2018. The top three categories for revenues and listings are vehicles, real estate and electronics (mobile phones in particular), TechCrunch reports.

Earlier this year, Jiji acquired from Naspers the activities of OLX, its main competitor, on the African market, including businesses in Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. 

Among Jiji’s remaining competitors are Jumia Deals, Swiss-owned Ringier Africa, Chinese-owned OList, while eBay operates a partnership with Mall for Africa, as noted by TechCrunch.

“We’ve spent five years and raised $50 million to build Jiji to where it is today. It would take $50 to $100 million for these others to have a chance at building a similar business,” Mnogoletniy told the US tech publication.

Topics: E-commerce, Finance, International, News, Venture/Private equity
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