Saltside Technologies, Tonaton Ghana‘s parent firm has secured a $40 million investment led by Chinese equity investor Hillhouse Capital and supported by 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.
Nils Hammar, CEO of Saltside Technologies, said, “Saltside was founded in 2011 with the mission of building leading online marketplaces in underserved markets and creating sustainable value for the community. Through our success with Bikroy, Ikman and Tonaton, we have seen the impact providing safe and efficient marketplaces has had on the everyday lives of over 6 million visitors who use our portals every month. The new funds will enable us to further improve this consumer experience.”
This round brings Saltside’s total funds raised to $65 million.
In June, Tonaton.com’s parent firm Saltside Technologies raised $25 million in a move to dominate the classifieds market in emerging markets. The firm said it would use the funds to sensitize people and businesses on online marketing and as well use it to sign up more users.
Today’s funding will help it consolidate its gains as a leader in its active markets including Ghana, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as well expansion into new ones.
Tonaton’s major competion is Naspers OLX, Ringier’s PigiaMe and Ady and Shibsted’s TradeStable and HadiHiya and this funds will help it invest in its improve its product and build its brand in a move to be Africa’s biggest and safest classifieds platform.
Chris Bischoff, Group Investment Director at Investment AB Kinnevik, commented: “The introduction of significant new shareholders is an important milestone in Saltside’s journey. We are delighted to welcome Hillhouse Capital and Brummer & Partners, two marquee investors, as shareholders in Saltside. The company will benefit from their deep sector expertise and local insights respectively as well as their long-term perspectives.”
Saltside will use the cash on localised branding and continued growth of the business for Bikroy.com in Bangladesh, Ikman.lk in Sri Lanka, Dekho.com.pk in Pakistan and Tonaton.com in Ghana. Tonaton means “buy and sell” in Ghana’s Twi, and is a general marketplace with a variety of products with over 600,00 unique visitors per month and an estimated 90,000-plus items listed on the site.