Naspers has shut down all its offices across Africa except for South Africa. Our sources said the staff across the offices were informed today and they have been given till the end of March 2018.
Though the sites will still be available in these Countries, they will be operated remotely.
One would have thought that having run OLX in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana for over five years, they had survived the usual Naspers hammer. In fact, OLX just celebrated five years of opening its doors in Nigeria with loud cheer, great pride and awesome achievements recently. And it just turned on its revenue mechanisms in 2016 and was making money.
The fact is that Naspers continuously assesses its properties and decides which ones would stay open or shut. No property is immune from this brutal touch. Even if they have invested tons of money and they find that it is not in line with its ever changing strategic direction, the property would be axed. (Remember Mocality Nigeria and Kenya in 2013 and WeChat in 2016). Note that globally OLX is still doing well. In its interim report for the six months ended 30 September 2017, the company reported thus:
“Trading losses declined in several ecommerce units including classifieds and payments. The group’s profitable ecommerce businesses delivered US$465m in revenues and US$170m in trading profits, growing these metrics by 50% (36%) and 55% (52%) respectively.”
“Classifieds continued to gain traction across the portfolio. Excluding the additional investment in letgo, the business turned profitable during the reporting period. Revenue grew 47% (38%) year on year with OLX Europe benefiting from tailwinds in the vertical businesses, and Avito showing consistent growth. OLX Brazil is on track to reach break-even by the end of the financial year.”
On the flip side, with their increasing successes with properties like Tencent, Mail.ru, Flipkart, they would rather continue investing in those environments.
With this development, it is obvious that Naspers is divesting from its properties in Africa and moving to countries in Asia, Eastern Europe and South America where they believe they will get better yield for their investments.
This is also evident in the recent divestment from Konga.com along with Kinnevik and sale to Zinox Group
OLX is the world’s leading classifieds platform, with a presence in more than 40 countries around the globe. However the number of countries will now reduce with these new developments
Now the horizontal Classifieds market in Nigeria will now only be made up of one major player, Jiji.ng. Whao!!