South African Media giant Naspers has injected $75 million into Souq.com a Middle East and North Africa e-commerce site, adding the value of the site to over $500 million and the biggest in the history of the Arab world internet ecosystem since Yahoo’s 2009 Maktoob deal for $165 million.
Though the details of the deal were not revealed, earlier Naspers had a 35.8% stake in Souq but the latest round forms part of Nasper’s broader strategy to build ecommerce businesses in developing countries around the world according to a Naspers spokesperson who spoke to WSJ.
Souq has six million users and records 10 million unique visitors on monthly, the firm has also launched its own logistics branch dubbed QExpress, an online payment system PayFort and also launched its own tablet computer to be the Arab world’s leading version of Amazon.com.
Souq, says it aims to reach $1 billion in sales within the next two years and is banking on the clear e-commerce opportunity due to the increasing use of Internet, and mobile penetration. This new round will help the firm to improve its offerings and hire more people.
With investors such as New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global Management, Jabbar Internet Group, Souq has raised $150 million to date and belivies the ecommerce opportunity is enormous in the country and is expecting to see more deals come up as they continue to create value.