Naspers sold Konga because the online shopping mall wasn’t *growing*

Udoh N. Kelven
Feb 23, 2018 · 2 min read
“Dollapo”

Early this month we woke up to the surprising news that Nigeria’s biggest online shopping mall, Konga had been sold to foremost ICT company Zinox Technologies Limited.

The deal was shrouded in secrecy, and as a result rumours and speculations became the order of the day in the tech ecosystem and outside it, which weren’t good for all parties involved.

To put the correct information out there, I reached out to South Africa’s Naspers, one of the key investors in the startup — the other is Sweden’s Kinnevik. The reason for the sale was simple: Konga wasn’t *growing* as expected.

According to Naspers, this was despite several restructuring initiatives carried out to scale the startup and set it on its way to profitability, which would enable the startup fund itself.

When further investment in the startup didn’t achieve Naspers’ financial return target, they said “we no do again” — basically, it was time to move on and do other things.

The sale to Zinox was strategic though, as Naspers believed the company, which launched the now dead BuyRightAfrica.com some years ago, had what it takes to turn Konga around. Zinox had subsequently stated it plans to use Konga to revolutionize e-commerce in Africa — we hope they do.

As for the financial details of the deal, Naspers stated company policy doesn’t allow such to be divulged. And for the rumours, it stated it doesn’t respond to them.

Udoh N. Kelven

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