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Did composite e-commerce startup just acquire Yes Mobile to take on SLOT?

Yudala’s unique model of retailing means it has to go after prominence on two fronts — online and offline.

Wole Ogundare, Yudala's new CEO

They say e-commerce is an especially hard nut to crack in Nigeria but composite e-commerce startup Yudala doesn’t seem to be operating on that wavelength. The 18-month old company has acquired Yes Mobile, a gadget and appliance retail chain with a number of stores all over Lagos.

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Yudala’s unique model of retailing means it has to go after prominence on two fronts — online and offline, the latter in the form of brick and mortar stores. From the latter perspective, the Yes Mobile acquisition is not hard to get past.

“The process commenced a few months back and was concluded about a couple of weeks ago. We are happy to see the number one e-commerce and pioneer composite retail company take charge. In a few days’ time, Yudala’s striking fuchsia pink will become our new color and we shall start exciting our customers with other world-class products beyond ICT products and accessories,” says Onoidem Idiong, a senior management staff at Yes Mobile, according to a report by The Guardian.

Yudala’s Head of Media Relations, Gideon Ayogu, says, “I can say it is the most creative partnership or acquisition I have experienced as it was target-driven with a lot of knowledge on display. Nigerians will certainly start experiencing the results of this acquisition within a few days. We have a lot on our sleeves as a solid and fastest growing e-commerce company in Africa. This is in addition to the over 25 physical stores we have launched in 18 months and the many job opportunities these have unlocked for Nigerians.”

However, one has to wonder what the acquisition means for Yudala’s bottom line. The good folks at TechCabal believe it is a play at gadget retail where SLOT is said to be king and I am inclined to agree. In a certain light, it does make sense. At the same time, Yudala is just 18 months-old, there is no figure out for the acquisition, it just appointed a new CEO and SLOT is way ahead in terms of market share.

Usually, a high cost is attached with these kinds of acquisitions (they have to rebrand and absorb — maybe even retrain — staff etc.) and it will be interesting to see what this does for Yudala in the short — and long — term. Should SLOT be worried? I wouldn’t go that far just yet.

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