Naspers-Backed Classified Ads Site, OLX Launches in Nigeria

Back in June, we exclusively reported here on TechLoy that Naspers-owned classified ads service, Dealfish was in the process of transition and currently being shuttered and rebranded to OLX.

Well, as at the time of writing this post, Dealfish is still operating as a ‘skeletal’ classified ads service, but OLX Nigeria has been launched. Since May, Dealfish had stopped digital advertising and brand campaigns, and the OLX brand is said to be replacing Dealfish in Nigerian and Kenyan markets.

The service is also available on mobile devices and apps on several app stores including the Apple Store, Google Play, Blackberry App World and Nokia Ovi Store, which lets you search for listings in several locations around the world, including Nigeria, although I could hardly find any listing in some locations in Nigeria.

Last month, we asked Neil Schwartzman, CEO of MIH Internet, Sub-Saharan Africa the reasons for the consolidation. According to him, the two major reasons for the consolidation were: technology and branding, adding that the technology behind the OLX platform is quite sophisticated and robust than that of Dealfish which would see the classified ads service become more useful and feature-rich for users.

In terms of branding, Schwartzman reckons that a lot has been spent to build the dealfish brand, but given the fact that OLX has a solid global brand and is internationally renowned in more than 90 countries, this could help to cement MIH Internet’s classified ads presence in Africa.

The move to consolidate its online classified ad properties seems to be a good one, considering the fact that OLX is a global brand with a more sophisticated technology platform, and it wouldn’t make much sense to own two competing free classifieds business in the country.

OLX, a Craiglist competitor founded in March 2006, is an international classifieds service used in more than 90 countries and 40 languages and has more than 150 employees across offices in South Africa, Argentina, USA, Russia, China, Brazil and India.

Interestingly, Naspers (parent company of MIH Internet, owners of Dealfish) holds a 71.5% majority stake in OLX as at March 2011, after an undisclosed investment into OLX in August 2010.

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