Online marketplace Jiji acquires struggling Cars45 to diversify its business portfolio

KENYA – Jiji, one of Africa’s largest classifieds marketplaces that took over OLX Sub-Saharan Africa from the Naspers Group as Walie Holdings, has acquired Cars45, an online marketplace for people to buy, sell or swap used cars operations in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria for an undisclosed amount.

Jiji, supported by Lemma.Group, an investment company, says the deal promises a new level of trade experience for auto buyers and sellers across the three countries where Cars45’s performance was wanting.

Speaking to TechCrunch 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 and claims the category has over US$3 billion worth of listings out of the platform’s total listing exceeding US$10 billion  – real estate commands almost US$7 billion. 

According to Anton Volyansky, CEO and co-founder of Jiji: “We are looking forward to creating a new advanced experience for Cars45 users. Undoubtedly, our collaboration on future products and services will bring additional value to the consumers. For Jiji, it’s the first bold step into the transactional business model and an important foundation for building the future of the company.”

With the deal, Cars45 users will benefit from Jiji’s market-leading products in online classifieds and in turn, Cars45 brings a unique O2O car buying and selling service, where cars can safely be sold instantly to dealers or via a consumer marketplace to other consumers.

‘’For Jiji, it’s the first bold step into the transactional business model and an important foundation for building the future of the company”

Anton Volyansky – Co-founder and CEO, Jiji

Together, users in the auto sector can expect a new level of convenience in buying and selling cars, combining online and offline capabilities.

Cars45 was hit by resignations, terminations, and accusations of mismanagement and misappropriation with people familiar with the matter arguing the rot was more than a year deep and deeper than the firm could solve and to save face, Cars45 hired Soumobroto Ganguly as its new Chief Executive who took over from co-founder and former CEO, Etop Ikpe.

Ganguly was expected to drive business development and marketing, finance and fund raising, and he is said to have been the guy behind the acquisition as he previously worked as the Deputy Managing Director of Genesis Group in  Nigeria.

Genesis Group owned and operated Jiji then, but it has spun Jiji out as an independent outfit.

The deal certainly is an exchange of value as Cars45’s key value is its network of inspection centres where cars are inspected across the locations where it operates.

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