OLX set to shut down operations in Kenya and Nigeria

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OLX is shutting down its operations in Kenya and Nigeria.

According to a report published by Pulse Nigeria, the Naspers owned e-commerce platform informed its staff in Nigeria and Kenya of the decision on Tuesday, with a notice of termination beginning in March.

It is not clear the number of staff that will be affected by this decision but of course most OLX users in Kenya and Nigeria will be disappointed by this move.

OLX which was acquired by South Africa’s media giant Nasper in 2010 has been struggling to make its business in Kenya and Nigeria since entering the two markets in 2012. The company is a leading classifieds platform, with a presence in more than 40 countries around the globe.

This number is however going to reduce after today’s announcement.  The report further states that all OLX business and operations will now be moved to South Africa.

OLX Kenya recorded over 1 million items listed for sale with over 100,000 users selling on OLX in 2016. Among the categories that contributed to the items on sale were electronics, followed by vehicles, mobile phones and real estate. Average monthly buyers who visited the platform in 2016 were 1.1 million with 45% visiting the site via the OLX app, 38% through mobile web and 17% through desktop web.

Most Kenyans are going online to advertise their pieces of land and property and the average cost of real estate items on OLX in 2016 stood at Ksh 24 million. The cost of items was highest in the real estate category, vehicles coming to a close second with an average of 1.7 million.

2016 also saw the company enhance its platform to accommodate farm produce. More than 10,000 farmers used OLX to sell their produce and livestock especially chicken and cattle, and fresh produce.

Traditionally in Kenya, farmers and buyers paid brokers a fee to assist with sales. The transition to online selling enabled farmers to earn more by cutting out brokers and reducing transportation costs. The company said it saw the need for the category after it saw farmers listing livestock for sales in its pets category

The company has not made any official comment on its exit from the two markets but its definately something we will be following up on.

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