BrandArena: REVEALED: Why Jiji Acquire Cars45

Friday 2 July 2021

REVEALED: Why Jiji Acquire Cars45

Just two years after its acquisition of all OLX assets in Sub-Saharan Africa, Jiji, horizontal Classifieds general marketplace has announced its acquisition of vertical marketplace Cars45 for an undisclosed amount.

Cars45 has gone quiet since the exit of the notable executives running the startup in the last two years. In November 2019, Prosus company, OLX Group, invested $400 million in Frontier Car Group (FCG) owners of the Cars45 brand, making it the company’s largest shareholder. 

In September 2020, there was a silent executive mass exodus in Cars45 signifying that there is discord among the senior executives at the top and the board in the company. This led to CEO/co-founder Etop Ikpe and eleven senior executives leaving the company.

However, it was certain that OLX would be offloading the Nigerian Cars45 when it announced in March 2021, that it was shutting down Berlin-based Frontier Car Group (FCG) operations in the city. It said it wanted to refocus on more local operations in Latin America and Asia under its OLX Autos brand, into which it will fold in the remaining FCG operations.

In a discussion with Techcrunch, co-founder and board member Vladimir Mnogoletniy disclosed that vehicle 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’re 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 continued.

According to Jiji’s co-founder and CEO Anton Volyansky regarding the integration of both platforms, “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.”

Soumobroto Ganguly, CEO of Cars45, commented: “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.”

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