OLX May Go As Naspers Mulls Africa Classifieds Shutdown

The departure of MIH Africa's CEO has put Nigerian classified ads site OLX on the line...

Nigeria local classified ads site OLX may be axed as Naspers/MIH Africa might soon close down its African classifieds operations and turn its focus on e-tail sites and other developed markets.

This possible exit comes on the heels of the news that MIH Africa CEO Bill Paladino had left the firm.

Bill Paladino former MIH Africa CEO confirmed his departure from the firm on Wednesday, in an email interview with Techmoran.

“As I am no longer with MIH/Naspers Africa, I cannot answer these questions. As for my future, I am still sorting it out. Not much to report on that front,” Paladino told TechMoran.

Interestingly, according to Techmoran, MIH Africa recently shut down a number of e-commerce sites to focus on the general e-tail businesses such as Kalahari, indicating a likely shut down of Nasper's MIH Africa operations.

Naspers will therefore exit from classifieds in Africa and absorb and run e-commerce sites Konga in Nigeria and Kalahari in South Africa

Paladino was the CEO of e-commerce in Africa at Naspers subsidiary MIH Internet Africa since January 2012 and was responsible for South Africa’s Kalahari.com, Nigeria’s Konga.com and OLX and the recently closed SA-focused e-commerce start-ups Sacamera, 5rooms, Kinderelo and Style36.

And his departure raises questions on the future of OLX.

"Our sources allege that OLX has been given one more year to prove itself in Africa, but in the total absence of any business model other than pay per click the firm will hardly succeed given Africa’s immature pay per click," TechMoran reported.

Low CPC rates, largely due to low internet access make the African market "too early" for CPC which makes OLX Africa’s business model highly unsustainable.

The classifieds market will still be fiercely contested as companies like Ringier’s Kiramu set to take on OLX for the classifieds market.

Naspers/MIH Africa is a leading multinational group of media and e-commerce platforms and its exit, if it happens, will leave a huge gap in Africa’s classifieds market where it plays a huge role.

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