OLX, one of Africa’s largest classifieds, has acquired Tradestable, its biggest rival in Nigeria. The move not only gives OLX, a relatively new entrant into Africa’s biggest consumer market, a greater reach within the market, but consolidates its position as the leading classified platform for spend-savvy Nigerians.
OLX (OnLine eXchange) entered the Nigerian market in August of 2013, but has quickly become one of the most visited trading platforms available to Nigerians. One reason for its relatively quick success is its diverse portfolio of offerings. OLX sellS virtually every commodity; from baby products and household equipments to cars and houses, giving it the edge of product specific platforms like Private Property, Carmudi or Kaymu.
It also allows Nigerians, particularly in traffic-jammed Lagos, the luxury of accessing an array of sellers from the comfort of their smartphones – the most utilized channel in accessing OLX within the country.
For sellers, particularly informal traders (those who make one-off sales), OLX has provided a platform that allows them direct access to buyers, making it quicker to access payments. In a statement, released on the back of the acquisition, OLX noted that combining both platforms will expand access for this set of budding traders. It’s Country Manager, Lola Masha, added that the buyout will provide users a wider portfolio of products and brands.
Despite the strategic buyout, which will shield it from competent competition for the foreseeable future, OLX remains plagued with issues surrounding trust. Given its lax control over transactions, fraud, popularly known as 419 in Nigeria, continues to surface. This has dented its image and raised red flags particular among buyers.