E-commerce platform, OLX, has shut down operations in Nigeria and Kenya, Africa’s trongest e-commerce markets.
Employees of the company in Nigeria and Kenya were formally informed of the decision on Tuesday, with a notice of termination to staff beginning in March, followed by for the management team in April. The company is now expected to put its full focus on South Africa.
It is not clear how many staff have been affected by the decision but PC Tech Magazine reports that in Kenya, a lot of livestock and agro-based clients of the platform will be disappointed, as the platform is one of the main ways to sell farm products, as well as cars.
The Public Relations and Communications Lead, OLX Nigeria, Uche Nwagboso, said the company has made provision for financial compensation for the workers that will be affected.
“We made a difficult but important decision in Nigeria to consolidate our operations between some of our offices internationally. Our marketplace will continue to operate here – uninterrupted – as it has since 2010, and we remain committed to the many people here who use our platform to buy and sell every month,” Nwagboso said.
She added, “We continue to be focused on constantly innovating to make sure that OLX remains the top classified platform in the country. Of course, we are committed to helping our affected colleagues during this transition and have already offered them meaningful financial and other support.
“As we’ve expressed to them directly, we are extremely grateful for their many significant contributions to OLX’s success.”
OLX is a classified ad platform that connects people in local communities to buy, sell or exchange used goods and services through their mobile phone or on the web. It was acquired by South Africa media giant Naspers in 2010.
OLX launched in Nigeria in 2012 and had more than three million sellers and buyers registered on its platform in 2015. The company joins a long list of e-commerce businesses that have wrapped up in Nigeria over the past two years.
Efritin.com closed down in 2015, citing high cost of doing business. Konga.com, in which Naspers is a major investor, also sold its business to Zinox Group last week. Jumia has also had to consolidate all its assets into single units to reduce overhead costs.