Jiji, Africa’s digital classifieds company has Secured a $2 million in Series C and C-1 funding from six investors to strengthen its brand positioning in Africa.
Led by Knuru Capital, the new financing, will aid the company’s plans towards initiatives to increase the overall number of buyers, sellers and transactions on the jiji platform. The company also seeks to also improve the site to house more listings and quicker customer search matching in the area of real-estate.
The jiji platform enables buyers and sellers to transact purchases from real estate to car sales.
According to the company’s stats, the classifieds site has over two million listings on its Africa platforms and had over eight million unique monthly users as of 2018.
Knuru Capital CEO Alain Dib confirmed the financing making Jiji’s total capital sum up to $50 million from 2014 to 2019.
As regards expansion plans, Jiji doesn’t have plans for country expansion or company purchases.
“Maybe at some point, we will consider more acquisitions, but for the time being we’d like to focus on those five markets,” the Nigerian based venture co-founder Vladimir Mnogoletniy said — referring to Jiji’s existing African country presence in Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.
“We’ve had a lot of discussions about adding segments other than our main business. We decided that for the next three to five years, we should be laser focused on our core business — to be the largest marketplace in Africa for buying and selling to over 400 million people.
As regards the challenges of online scams originating from Nigeria, Mnogoletniy said; “We take data protection very seriously. We have a data-control officer just to do the data-protection verification.”
“We were able to eliminate a high percentage of fraud listings and estimate fraud listings at less than 1%,” said Mnogoletniy.
While on a phone discussion with TechCrunch, Mnogoletniy said, “We are the largest marketplace in Africa where people can sell pretty much anything…We are like a combination of ebay and Craiglist for Africa.”
Jiji sees a viable market of 400 million people across its operating countries, says Mnogoletniy as the venture acquired the assets of Naspers owned online marketplace OLX in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda earlier in April 2019.
For Jiji, three categories stand out as key revenues and listings (in order) are vehicle sales, real estate, and electronics sales (namely mobile phones).
With regards to competing with rival markets, Mnogoletniy explains sees the company’s total focus on the classifieds business, market experience, and capital as advantages.
“We’ve spent five years and raised $50 million to build Jiji to where it is today. It would take $50 to $100 million for these others to have a chance at building a similar business,” he said.