The World’s Biggest Classified Firm OLX Invest R1.4 Billion in SA’s WeBuyCars

The investment forms part of parent company Naspers’ undertaking to accelerate growth in classifieds, online food delivery and fintech businesses globally.

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BMW 4 Series (Photo Credit BMW)
BMW 4 Series (Photo Credit BMW)

OLX – the world’s leading classifieds platform focused on emerging markets, both mobile and online – announced on Tuesday that it has invested R1.4 billion in South Africa’s specialised car buying service, WeBuyCars.

The Naspers’ classifieds business said the combination of Webuycars’ specialised instant buying model and OLX’s proprietary online classifieds technology will strengthen the overall used car ecosystem in South Africa by providing dealerships with improved access to stock and private buyers and sellers with an enhanced user experience focused on trust, safety and convenience.

“We believe that the technology and services from specialised car buying services like Webuycars can help improve the experience of classifieds users across our OLX platforms,” said Martin Scheepbouwer, CEO, OLX Group.

“We are particularly impressed with the team’s focus on the customer and the lean operating model they have established and look forward to working together to empower car dealers and bring further convenience and trust to used car buying and selling in South Africa. We’re very excited about South Africa’s market potential and we’re committed to investing in great e-commerce businesses like Webuycars there.”

The investment forms part of parent company Naspers’ undertaking to accelerate growth in classifieds, online food delivery and fintech businesses globally.

Webuycars operates a used car marketplace in South Africa offering a specialised car buying service to sellers and was founded 17 years ago by Faan and Dirk van der Walt. The hands-on entrepreneurs have built the business into a large and successful player in the used car buying space, with operations across South Africa.

“We are extremely excited about this investment from the OLX Group as it will enable us to improve the experience of our customers and fund our future growth plans,” said Faan van der Walt, CEO, Webuycars.

This is a second investment by OLX in the South African car market.

Last November, OLX announced that AutoTrader, SA’s Online Vehicle Marketplace, was not officially part of its group.

AutoTrader remained a separate brand, however, with access to world-class technology hubs and expertise has brought renewed energy and focus to drive the growth of this platform even further.

Earlier this year, OLX also invested $89 million (R1.1 billion) in
Berlin-based online car marketplace Frontier Car Group.

Co-founded in Brazil in 2006 by Fabrice Grinda and Alec Oxenford, OLX became part of the Naspers – Africa’s largest tech and media firm Naspers – family in 2010.

In August 2010, Naspers bought 67,8% of OLX for $144 million (about R1 billion) cash. In December 2011, Africa’s biggest tech firm upped its stake to 71,5 and 95% in 2014. At the time, OLX was a classifieds business operating mainly in emerging markets, especially Latin America.

With more than 330 million monthly users worldwide, OLX Group makes it super easy for anyone to buy and sell almost anything, such as household goods, phones, cars and houses, fuelling local economies

OLX is free to use and makes money selling promoted listings to users. (Payments are conducted offline, which has allowed OLX to avoid dealing with legacy payment infrastructure in each market it enters.)

The South African-based company also owns a majority stake in Avito, letgo and Dubizzle.

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