This mid-morning Ringier Africa and One Africa Media (OAM) announced they have agreed to merge their pan-African Classifieds assets to create and grow Africa’s largest classifieds group with a new outfit dubbed Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM).
ROAM is a reaction of the changing scene of classifieds business in Africa where the winner takes it all. These are some of the players. Naspers, One Africa Media , Rocket Internet and the new Frontier Digital Ventures .
Naspers run the struggling Property24 and OLX which is a major leader in various sub-Sarahan African markets. OAM’s Jobberman, Brighter Monday, Cheki, BuyRent Kenya & PrivateProperty Nigeria while Ringier Africa’s Expat-Dakar, ZoomTanzania & PigiaMe.
Rocket Internet has its Carmudi, Everjobs, Vendito, Lamudi and Frontier Digital Ventures is picking up classifieds portals such as Afribaba, Kupatana, CarWangu, Jobwangu and PropertyMaputo which recently rebranded to CasaMozambique.
With the Carey Eaton gone, SEEK and Tiger Global needed more African based/ experienced partners on ground so they don’t lose their cash in Africa. One Africa Media too needed new energy to drive their market penetration and domination across Africa. Ringier Africa’s PigiaMe and its sister Kiramu.ng then Ady.ng (RIP) wasn’t the perfect number two in both markets even though PigiaMe has done so much to keep close to OLX in Kenya. Saltside’s Efritin is also looking great. Gumtree has talked expansion but if they did eBay will pour in billions and easy to navigate website UI will be to their advantage. Rupu is not part of this deal but under the Ringier Africa Deals Group.
Rocket Internet aims to patronize on a few money making ventures then shut loss making to save some money for its investors who are getting jittery-Millicom left the Africa Internet Group when Orange and AXA came in. But Rocket Internet is nothing without money.
One Africa Media is still strong though not so vocal but still doing so much better than Rocket Internet in some verticals but with Rocket Internet’s cash, it was just a matter of time for them to take over. So this is a good deal for both family run Ringier and SEEK and Tiger Global. This will help them fight off Naspers and the rest.
Now, the leading shareholder is Ringier Africa AG, but with strong collaboration with Tiger Global Management, Seek and OAM. The Ringier Africa Deals Group (RADG) with Silvertree on e-commerce in Africa is not touched by Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM) on classifieds in Africa. The merger comes with joint undisclosed investment.
The deals space is also getting hot. Websimba, EatOut‘s parent firm also acquired DoneDeal.ug and eatinginkigali.com and also thepearlguide.co.ug. Everyone is either going big or going home. OAM’s CEO Justin Clarke will become the Acting CEO of the new group.