One of Africa’s largest online marketplaces, Jiji has acquired cars45, an online marketplace for people to buy, sell or swap used cars. This is part of a plan by Jiji to explore a different business model from classified for the first time since its launch in 2014, according to TechCrunch.
This is the first time since its inception in 2014 that Jiji will be exploring a business outside its usual classifieds model, which has brought it profitability according to the company.
According to the report, this is not the first time Jiji has done business with Cars45 parent company, OLX. In 2019, OLX, the Naspers-owned online marketplace, sold its assets in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to the seven-year-old classifieds player. As a result, Jiji now commands 10 million unique monthly visits and three million active listings, according to the company stats.
Speaking on the reason for the deal, Jiji’s co-founder and board member Vladimir Mnogoletniy was reported to have said that vehicles listing is the second most popular category on Jiji. He claims the category has over $3 billion worth of listings out of the platform’s total listing exceeding $10 billion (real estate commands almost $7 billion).
“We have leading positions in all markets we are present in and are definitely the classifieds leader in the region. Also, we are probably the largest e-commerce company in Africa by GMV,” he said.
The acquisition will see Cars45 grow its vehicles category. The company will also merge its operations in Nigeria (primary market), Ghana and Kenya with Jiji as the classifieds marketplace wants to consolidate its position in the space.
Yet for another time, Cars45 has been under different ownership in recent years. In 2020, OLX Group, via its OLX Autos brand, acquired Cars45 from Berlin-based company, Frontier Car Group (FCG). FCG took ownership in 2017 when Cars45 raised $5 million from the former, making it the largest shareholder and parent company.
This deal, certainly is an exchange of value. Cars45’s key value is its network of inspection centres where cars are inspected across the locations where it operates. This is significant for brand trust and due process. Cars45 users will benefit from Jiji’s dominance in online classifieds