Africa’s classified marketplace, Jiji, has announced its acquisition of automotive vehicle trading platform, Cars45.
The acquisition was made for an undisclosed amount, and would see Jiji make a move into transactional marketplaces.
Vladimir Mnogoletniy, co-founder and Board member at jiji, explained that the acquisition is a strategic move, and is expected to consolidate the success already recorded in the vehicle listing category of Jiji.
Mnogolestniy further explained that vehicles listing is the second most popular category on the Jiji platform, after Real estate, having over $3 billion worth of listings, out of the platform’s total listing of over $10 billion.
“In terms of classifieds, we’re looking at opportunities, but we are already a leader in Africa, so I think there’s very limited space for whom to acquire. However, we’re primarily interested in deals like Cars45, where we bring our leadership positions from classifieds, and acquire very close business models that give us exposure to the transactional marketplace. So for us, a major interest will be to acquire adjacent business models,” Mnogolestniy said.
Anton Volynsky, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Jiji, explained that:
“We will integrate this into one company because this acquisition has a lot of benefits for both. It’s a very common practice when marketplace and transactional business models work together as one project. For instance, a seller of a car, it’s convenient to sell both ways via a marketplace or auction model. So, it would be like a seamless process for selling the car.”
Over the years, Cars45 has been acquired by a number of companies. In 2017, it was acquired by the Berlin-based company, Frontier Car Group (FCG), who became the largest shareholder after investing $5 million in Cars45.
Cars45 was thereafter, acquired by OLX Autos (a subsidiary of OLX Group), from FCG.
Commenting on the acquisition, Soumobroto Ganguly, CEO of Cars45, said:
“We are proud to have built a trusted buying and selling experience in autos. It makes sense to combine online and offline expertise. Merging with Jiji is aimed at creating a new kind of automotive retail experience for users in Africa. We are confident of jointly building an African Champion in the O2O Automotive Sector. Together we look forward to making transactions transparent and convenient for our customers, dealers, and franchisees across all our current and future markets.”
David Ojo, Jiji’s CFO, explains that the value of Cars45 is in its network of inspection centres. Cars45 has inspection centres scattered around the country, where cars are inspected by more than 200 parameters.
It is expected that the quality of checks carried out by Cars45 would improve the trust rating on vehicles listed on Jiji, and offer a different car buying and selling experience via its transactional marketplace model. Cars45 would also benefit from Jiji’s dominance in online classifieds.