Saltside‘s online classifieds company, Efritin Nigeria is officially shutting down operations this week in Nigeria, with staff already vacating their head office in Ikeja and office property auctioned among staff. The company website is still online while the central team gradually informs partners and merchants on its platform.
In November, we reported that its former marketing manager had accused Somalian national and former MD of Efritin.com, Zakaria Hersi of stealing thousands of dollars, turning a blind eye to internal mismanagement and false fully creating invoice trails.
Information from some senior members of Management who plead anonymity say that Zakaria Hersi’s activities were the beginning of the end for Efritin Nigeria as they struggled to raise further investment to scale the business leaving current CEO Gbenro Dara with a very difficult job of managing public and internal perception. 10 court cases in Nigeria that would cost the company up to N20million in fees among other things caused the central CEO to finally make the decision to close the company.
Members of staff at the central level of Efritin in Dubai were affected as well as part of job cuts in the company.
In January 2015, Saltside Technologies, the parent firm of Efritin and Ghana’s Tonaton secured a $40 million investment led by Chinese equity investor Hillhouse Capital with participation of Bangladesh’s PE firm Brummer & Partners and existing lead shareholder Investment AB Kinnevik to reinforce its market leadership positions and expand into new frontier markets. Ironically, this is the money that has caused Efritin’s death.