Ringier Africa and One Africa Media (OAM) have signed a merger to become ROAM (Ringier One Africa Media), the leading classifieds group in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa.
This means businesses will from now on activate synergies across the continent that will allow both buyers and sellers to benefit from an unprecedented ecosystem.
Other than Kenya, ROAM operates in eight other countries namely; Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, soon Zimbabwe and Mauritius as the leading classifieds businesses across the continent.
According to Carolyne Mwaura, ROAM Group Head of Human Resources, the launch between the two groups of companies will see individual businesses benefit from synergies from a greater knowledge sharing and joint technology platform.
Clemens Weitz, ROAM CEO said: “We are privileged to contribute to the positive disruption that digital solutions bring to our African markets. Many markets are still highly non-transparent, informal and fragmented. Buyers are typically overcharged due to asymmetrical information, and jobseekers defrauded by fake companies. Our goal is to empower Africans through transparency, and transform markets through technology. We celebrate this merger as a major milestone, from which not only ROAM but also our users and Small-Medium-sized-entities (SMEs) will profit significantly, for example by extended reach or accessing a new range of products.”
ROAM’s portfolio comprises both vertical classifieds in cars, jobs and real estate as well as general classifieds where a large variety of products can be sold and bought by professionals and individuals alike.
It combines One Africa Media’s vertical classifieds businesses Jobberman, BrighterMonday, Cheki, BuyRentKenya and Private Property Nigeria with Ringier-Africa’s general classifieds Expat-Dakar, ZoomTanzania, PigiaMe and Qefira and property portal MaMaison. In addition, new partners such as Mediatiz in Mauritius and Classifieds.co.zw and Property.co.zw are intended to join the group.
On his part, Robin Lingg, CEO Ringier Africa and Asia said, “Together with our partners, and main shareholders of One Africa Media respectively, Tiger Global Management and SEEK, the leading global employment marketplace Group, we strive to make ROAM the most innovative, encompassing and successful classifieds company in Sub-Saharan Africa. With our strong local brands, we enjoy the trust of our users and develop solutions which are a perfect fit for African users.”
“Every month, we already reach millions of users, and the growth potential is huge, with the number of smartphones expected to increase fivefold by 2025. We support our users throughout key events in their life, such as finding a first apartment, a new job or buying a car. Since many of their challenges are unique across the world, we do not copy and paste “developed market” models but build truly local approaches. We are grateful for our strategic shareholders Ringier, Tiger Global and SEEK who combine and support our local perspective with their international scope and experience.” Added Mr. Weitz.
The merger also saw the appointment of Clemens Weitz, previously COO of Ringier Africa Classifieds, as the CEO of ROAM.