Lagos Online Exchange (OLX), leading classified advertising company owned by South Africa's media giant, Naspers said it will from next month shut down its Nigerian and Kenyan offices due to the difficult operating environments.
A statement sent to LEADERSHIP by Uche Nwagboso, communications lead, OLX Nigeria quoting the managing director, Lola Masha said "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.
We continue to be focused on constantly innovating to make sure that OLX remains the top classifieds 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," Masha said.
Staff 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 management team in April. The company will now fully focus on its home market in South Africa. OLX, founded as an alternative to Craigslist has been struggling to make its businesses in Kenya and Nigeria viable since it entered those markets in 2012.
OLX joins a long list of e-commerce businesses who have wrapped up business in west and east Africa over the past two years after failing to break even. In 2015, Nigeria based Efritin.com closed down with then CEO Nils Hammer, citing high cost of data, poor internet penetration and adoption as well as economic woes of the country as the prevalent factors responsible for their exit from the Nigerian e-commerce market.