In a bid to revolutionize e-commerce in Africa, one of Africa’s biggest technology groups, Zinox has acquired the Nigerian e-commerce platform, Konga which remains one of the biggest players in Africa’s online retail industry. The acquisition encompasses all of Konga including its e-commerce domain, Konga.com, KOS Express which is its logistics arm, and KongaPay, the integrated mobile money payment channel.
This latest move will certainly unlock Nigeria’s e-commerce revenue potential. It will also help Zinox make a bold return to an industry it pioneered in Nigeria with the launch of BuyRight Africa.com. The absence of credit cards and e-payment infrastructures challenged this BuyRight when it was launched in 2006.
Despite failed attempts to reach the Chairman of Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, the company’s Head of Corporate Communications Gideon Ayogu, however, acknowledged the African IT giant’s interest in Konga stems from the multilateral nature of Konga’s online retail services.
“We have always had an interest in Konga and another big one but our priority was Konga. First because of her integrated nature of four quality companies in one.
“Konga is a world-class, professionally-run company whose landmark strides in the sector has gone a long way in ushering millions of Nigerians into the ease and convenience of online shopping and boosting the conduct of e-commerce in the country.”
He added that Zinox’s long-term goal will focus around giving Konga a strong footing in other parts of Africa.
“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.”
Global retail e-commerce sales totaled $2.829 trillion in 2017 while e-retail revenues are projected to grow to $4.48 trillion in 2021. Zinox’s interest in the e-commerce business, therefore, comes as no surprise.
What this means for Konga
Konga recently announced its intention to shift to a prepay-only model, essentially putting a stop to Pay on Delivery (PoD). It was a decision that formed part of an internal restructuring aimed at putting the business ahead of the market.
With this new investment, Konga will witness an increase in revenue. This will also allow the firm to assume a more significant share of the e-commerce market.
Also, this acquisition will create employment opportunities for over 750 Nigerians, both at home and abroad. Last year, the company laid off more than 60% of its employees in a restructuring process. But this acquisition may recall many of these employees.
There is also a high possibility that Konga will merge with Yudala, an e-commerce firm under the Zinox Group. With Yudala’s strong online presence, this merger will birth a more powerful brand.
Led by serial digital entrepreneur, Leo Stan Ekeh, the Zinox Group has grown beyond limits to become one of the biggest names on the African technology scene.
Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria addition to hubs in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the Zinox Group boasts a 360-degree spectrum orientation as an integrated ICT solutions group with advanced competencies in manufacturing, distribution, retail and after-sales support, among others.
From a humble beginning to a proud end
Konga has grown since its humble beginnings in 2012 as a Lagos-only e-commerce site, specializing in baby and beauty care. The online platform has morphed into a major online retailer, often dubbed “The Amazon of Africa.”
In 2015, Konga collaborated with leading Nigerian banks to launch KongaPay, a safe and convenient online payment method. KongaPay tackled the issue of trust in Africa when it came to online payments.
The online marketplace was one of the first in Africa to create a payment system that integrated into banks worldwide. It was an innovation that used a click system that eliminated the sharing of sensitive information during payments.
With a backing from the South African media giant, Naspers, Konga is now a major player in the e-commerce space. In 2014, Naspers, which has a 50% stake in Konga, invested $50 million in the online store.
The acquisition of this e-commerce giant is only the first step to the radical transformation of Africa’s online retail industry. Major e-commerce players may now step up their game, aiming for the better part of the market in future.