Jiji, a Ukrainian-founded company touting itself as “a combination of eBay and Craigslist for Africa,” has acquired Tonaton.com, its main competitor in Ghana. The terms of the deal, which was announced a few days ago, were not disclosed.
“Jiji and Tonaton users will now have access to a larger network of buyers and sellers, which will significantly increase trading opportunity and aggregate user base in what is seen as a major market consolidation in the classifieds sector,” the companies stated.
“Jiji achieved great success with only a limited presence in Ghana; more than 2 million people visit our website each month. Over the past eight years, Tonaton has built a strong team of more than 70 people that will hugely contribute to our future growth. The combination of Jiji’s technology and talent with that of Tonaton will help ensure our continued success in the fast-paced e-commerce industry.” — Yuliy Shenfeld, Jiji’s Director of African Operations
Jiji was co-founded in 20214 by Ukrainians Vladimir Mnogoletniy and Anton Volyansky. It has been backed by Ukrainian funds Digital Horizon, Genesis and TA Ventures ; Abu Dhabi’s Digital Spring Ventures and Dubai’s Knuru Capital — which led a $21 million funding round in 2019, — among other investors.
Tonaton is not Jiji’s first acquisition. In 2019, the Ukrainian-founded company acquired from Naspers the activities of OLX, its main competitor on the African market, including businesses in Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda.
In 2021, Jiji bought Cars45 to grow its vehicles category. Cars45 merged its operations with Jiji in its primary market Nigeria as well as in Ghana and Kenya.
Jiji claims to be Africa’s number one marketplace in such major categories as vehicles, real estate, clothing, mobile phones and electronics. It operates over five countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, claiming more than 1.6 million active ads and 2.5 million buyers monthly as of September 2021.