Pan-African classifieds champion Jiji acquires, its main competitor in Ghana

Jiji, the biggest African marketplace platform, has acquired, part of Saltside Technologies AB, as told to AIN.UA by Jiji’s parent company Genesis. The acquisition is a milestone in Jiji’s strategy to build a leading marketplace in Africa through strategic expansion. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

The details of the deal

  • On January 31, 2022, the Nigerian-based venture Jiji announced its full acquisition of the Ghana-based classifieds heavyweight Tonaton.
  • Jiji and Tonaton users will now have access to a larger network of buyers and sellers, which will significantly increase trading opportunity and aggregate user base in what is seen as a major market consolidation in the classifieds sector.
  • With Jiji’s move to a large-scale presence in the African continent, and following its acquisition of OLX in 2019, and its recent acquisition of Cars45 in 2021, the deal sees the company well-positioned to tap into a larger share of the African market.
  • With the deep penetration of Tonaton in the Ghanaian classifieds sector as the go-to platform and factoring in its leading position in Ghana’s transactional used auto market, Jiji has secured a reliable base towards streamlining its services to a projected (SSA) market of 400 million-plus users. It is a market in which it currently sits as the leader in several key countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda, amounting to over $10 billion in gross merchandise value.

About Jiji and Tonaton

  • Jiji is a leading online marketplace in Africa co-founded by Anton Volianskyi and Vladimir Mnogoletniy. With operations across five countries, the platform attracts over 12 million unique users monthly that engage with over 4 million ads with a total value of over $10 billion.
  • The company is the enterprise behind the Jiji app, the #1 application by downloads in the Shopping category on the Google Play Store in Nigeria, and currently the highest-rated e-commerce app in the country.
  • Jiji already holds leadership positions in Ghana and Kenya. Additionally, the marketplace operates in Uganda and Tanzania.
  • Tonaton is a leader classified advertisements website operating in Ghana. Launched in 2013, the site hosts user-generated free advertisements sorted by various categories. 
  • Tonaton, a subsidiary of Saltside, was the main Jiji competitor in Ghana at the time of its purchase by Jiji earlier this month. However, Tonaton has quickly grown in popularity thanks to innovations that make it easier for users to buy and sell online, a strategy aligned with Jiji’s mission. As a result, both Jiji’s and Tonaton’s apps are consistently ranked as the top shopping apps in the Google Play Store in the countries where they operate.

“With OLX and Cars45 under Jiji’s umbrella, we are getting close to becoming a regional leader in classifieds. Jiji is the largest e-commerce company in Africa by GMV (more than $10 billion), leading in small to high-involvement key categories such as cars and real estate. We hold the rank of the best app in e-commerce proudly with a rating of 4.5/5, a gauge of satisfaction from our millions and millions of daily users, – clarified CEO and co-founder Anton Volianskyi.

– The picture is much larger. Our goal is to build a company that gives every user in Africa the opportunity to buy goods cheaper and reduce environmental impact through what is effectively a developing lateral economy built on a safe and productive recirculation of valuable goods. We are currently creating at full-tilt hundreds of thousands of new jobs throughout Africa, which allows us to effectively address and help remedy gaps in both unemployment and frictional unemployment.”