After several months of denial intrigues, Zinox Group, owners of Yudala.com has now confirmed it has acquired Konga, one of the largest eCommerce companies in Nigeria.
Konga has in recent times turned out to be unsustainable given the difficult business climate that pervaded the Nigerian economy. While many smaller players died, Jumia and Konga barely survived cutting jobs and laying off workers in their thousands.
Confirming the acquisition, Gideon Ayogu, spokesperson for Zinox Group said the decision to invest in Konga was an easy one for the organisation.
“We have always had an interest in Konga and another big one you know very well but our priority was Konga first because of the integrated nature of the four quality companies in one,” he said.
“Konga is a world-class, professionally-run company whose landmark strides in the sector have gone a long way in ushering millions of Nigerians into the ease and convenience of online shopping while boosting the conduct of e-commerce in the country. Konga’s integrity is their pride.”
“Today, many Nigerians can attribute their first experience of e-commerce to Konga.com and we are excited to be a part of this remarkable story. Many shoppers can also attest to the speed and efficiency in delivery that characterizes KOS-Express, the company’s logistics arm, which is arguably the best in the sector at the moment.
“Our ambition is to up the tempo by revolutionising e-commerce on the African continent, with Konga at the fore-front of this initiative. In addition to positioning the business on a path of profitability in the short term, our long term plans are focused around seeing Konga well established in other African capitals.
“Furthermore, we will be unveiling a lot of new initiatives soon and we advise shoppers and merchants alike to look out for these innovations which will radically reshape the average customer experience of e-commerce in Nigeria and on the continent and put more money in their pockets,” he said.
Konga was partly owned by AB Kinnevik, a Swedish tech investor and South Africa’s Naspers limited. These two net investors in the African technology scene were said to have taken large impairments to their investments.
Neither Kinnevik and Naspers have confirmed how much they sold their stake in Konga, people familiar with the matter claimed they sold the company far less than what it was valued for.
It would be recalled that PageOne.ng had written series of exclusive stories on the going concern of Konga. Last month, we did an exclusive story on how the new owners were said to be cutting more jobs across managerial ranks to pave way for its total control of the company.
The fact that Zinox Group has not also exposed its plans has to what it will do with two eCommerce companies will further heighten speculations. Will Zinox simply merge Konga and Yudala to run under a single entity or will it euthanise Konga and push its own brand, Yudala? Things are not very clear as to what becomes of Konga.
What is now certain is that Kinnevik has almost exited all its investment in Africa except IrokoTV. Naspers, on the other hand, is deeply rooted in Nigeria with its DSTV and Multichoice brands.
Yudala itself has not been very successful in running a profitable eCommerce business. Its offline and online model gave it an edge over its pairs but its concentration on consumer electronics side of retailing brought it in direct competition with giants such as Slot and Microstation.
While the business model of Konga might be difficult to determine going forward, many things are expected to change by default. New owners mostly come with new management. A new team is expected to steer the ship of this fragile company. Whether they have what it takes is another ball game.