The Zinox Group, Nigeria’s foremost integrated ICT solutions conglomerate, surprised the e-commerce market in Nigeria, as the news broke on Saturday that after months of strategic negotiations with foreign investors Naspers and AB Kinnevik, it has bought over Konga.
This an unprecedented move that is widely expected to raise the profile of e-commerce in the country.
The development signifies a remarkable return to e-commerce for the Zinox Group, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), after it pioneered e-commerce in Nigeria with the launch of BuyRight Africa.com, which struggled to cope with the absence of credit card and e-payment infrastructure over 12 years ago.
When the Konga founder and former CEO, Sim Shagaya made a return to the Board expectations were the Company will take a new turn for good. But in November 2017, the Company sacked over 300 members of staff—around 60% of its total workforce.
CEO Shola Adekoya informed staff of the cuts on Nov. 30 and said the company will adopt a leaner business model.
Recall, Shagaya stepped down in Jan. 2016 two weeks after Konga sacked 10% of its staff.
The acquisition is also understood to have passed all regulatory approvals by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Details of the mega deal indicate that the Zinox Group, arguably Africa’s most integrated technology group, will assume ownership of the e-commerce group which includes Konga.com, Nigeria’s largest online mall; KongaPay, a Central Bank of Nigeria-licensed mobile money platform with over 100,000 subscribers and rated as one of the best mobile money channels in the country; as well as KOS-Express, a digitally-driven and world class logistics company with advanced delivery capabilities for Konga and other structured companies nationwide.
The acquisition is seen by industry watchers as a landmark development that could see e-commerce in Nigeria finally unlock the massive revenue potential in the global multi-billion-dollar industry.
In 2017, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to $US2.829 trillion, while e-retail revenues are projected to grow to US$4.48 trillion in 2021.
Coming at a time when global e-commerce spending is expected to top previously unheralded levels, the acquisition is widely expected to reposition Konga for a greater share of the e-commerce purse in Nigeria and beyond.
The acquisition is also expected to create employment opportunities for over 5,000 Nigerians, both at home and in the Diaspora.
Head of Corporate Communications at Zinox Group, Gideon Ayogu, who confirmed the development, disclosed that the organisation was keen to take e-commerce in Nigeria to hitherto-unprecedented heights.
“We have always had an interest in Konga and another big one you know very well but our priority was Konga first because of her integrated nature of four quality companies in one,” he disclosed.
“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. 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 characterises 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 noted.
Led by serial digital entrepreneur, Leo Stan Ekeh, the Zinox Group has grown from a position of strength to become one of the biggest names on the African technology scene. With its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria and branches all over the country in 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, special ICT projects, integrated solutions, e-commerce, retail and after-sales support, among others.