OLX Kenya has said Safaricom’s MyMarket is not really a competition and they don’t see it as a threat but just one of the moves most telcos globally do.
According to the firm, MyMarket is just a content platform for the telco’s subscribers as a value add to their voice and data services plus mobile money. Safaricom launched MyMarket late last year to add to its many mobile value added services such as news alerts and emergency services. MyMarket is a USSD platform which allows Safaricom subscribers to request for property, cars, jobs and among other listings. Being tied to Safaricom, the service will not be open to everyone and in the age of smartphones, Safaricom needs to move MyMarket from USSD to an app.
Speaking at the BAKE Experience this evening at Nailab, OLX Kenya Country Manager Peter Ndiangu said,”The business of classifieds is fairly difficult to grow and from what we know MyMarket is a side hustle for Safaricom. Most telcos have failed terribly by aggregating content. From our experience globally, telcos are not a competition.
Ndiangui added that monetization of classifieds is a chicken and egg issue and the firm was not in a hurry to start charging customers in Kenya. OLX Kenya will also not venture into personals like its competitor Craiglist.
“The moment you start charging you frustarte users but the basic thing is to grow the business, invest in it and we are not in a hurry to monetize in Kenya. We now earn some revenue from Google ads but its not so huge,” concluded Ndiangui.