After months of strategic negotiations with foreign investors Naspars and AB Kinnevik, the Zinox Group, Nigeria’s foremost-integrated ICT solutions conglomerate and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), is now the majority shareholder in e-commerce giant, Konga.
This is an unprecedented move that is widely expected to raise the profile of e-commerce in the country. Konga competes in the e-commerce space with the likes of Jumia, Yudala and Slot.ng.
Naspers is a South Africa-based multinational internet and media group, offering services in more than 130 countries while AB Kinnevik, founded in 1936, is a Swedish investment company investing primarily in digital consumer brands.
The development signifies a remarkable return to e-commerce for the Zinox Group after it pioneered e-commerce in Nigeria with the launch of BuyRight Africa.com which struggled to cope with the absence of credit card and e-payment infrastructure over 12 years ago.
LEADERSHIP Sunday learnt that the acquisition is also understood to have passed all regulatory approvals by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Details of the mega deal indicate that Zinox Group, arguably Africa’s biggest technology group will assume ownership of the e-commerce platform, Konga.com which remains one of the biggest players in the sector; KOS-Express, the world class logistics arm of the business and KongaPay, the company’s integrated mobile money payment channel with over 100,000 subscribers.
The landmark acquisition is seen by industry watchers as a major development that could see e-commerce in Nigeria finally unlock the massive revenue potential in the global multi-billion-dollar industry.
In 2017, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to $2.829 trillion while e-retail revenues are projected to grow to $4.48 trillion US in 2021.
Coming at a time when global e-commerce spending is expected to top previously unheralded levels, the acquisition is widely expected to reposition Konga, Nigeria’s largest online mall, for a greater share of the e-commerce purse in Nigeria and beyond.
The acquisition is also expected to create employment opportunities for over 750 Nigerians, both at home and in the Diaspora, with findings indicating that many erstwhile employees of the company laid off during the recent restructuring process may be recalled.
Gideon Ayogu, Head of Corporate Communications at Zinox Group, who confirmed the development, disclosed that the organization is keen to take e-commerce in Nigeria to hitherto-unprecedented heights.
“We have always had an interest in Konga and another big one you know very well but our priority was Konga first because of her integrated nature of four quality companies in one,” he disclosed. “Konga is a world-class, professionally-run company whose landmark strides in the sector has gone a long way in ushering millions of Nigerians into the ease and convenience of online shopping and boosting the conduct of e-commerce in the country.
“Today, many Nigerians can attribute their first experience of e-commerce to Konga.com and we are excited to be a part of this remarkable story. Many shoppers can also attest to the speed and efficiency in delivery that characterizes Kos-Express, the company’s logistics arm, which is arguably the best in the sector at the moment.
“Our ambition is to up the tempo by revolutionizing e-commerce on the African continent, with Konga at the fore-front of this initiative. In addition to positioning the business on a path of profitability in the short term, our long term plans are focused around seeing Konga well established in other African capitals. Furthermore, we will be unveiling a lot of new initiatives soon and we advise shoppers and merchants alike to look out for these innovations which will radically reshape the average customer experience of e-commerce in Nigeria and on the continent,” he noted.
Konga had recently announced a shift to a prepay-only model, essentially putting a stop to Pay on Delivery (PoD) – a significant decision which formed part of an internal restructuring aimed at putting the business on a sound footing in the market. This move, coupled with the new investment, is expected to spark an up-turn in the company’s fortunes which will see Konga assume a more significant share of the e-commerce market.
Led by serial digital entrepreneur, Ekeh, the Zinox Group has grown from a position of strength to become one of the biggest names on the African technology scene. With its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria and branches all over the country in addition to hubs in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East; the Zinox Group boasts a 360-degree spectrum orientation as an integrated ICT solutions group with advanced competencies in manufacturing, distribution, retail and after-sales support, among others.
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