Saltside Technologies raises $40m from Kinnevik, Hillhouse

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Saltside Technologies, which operates the leading online classifieds platform in Ghana, has raised US$40 million in a funding round led by Hillhouse Capital and supported by Brummer & Partners and existing leading shareholder Investment AB Kinnevik.

The company – which owns Tonaton.com and also operates the largest classified platforms in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – said the funds will be used to reinforce its leadership positions in existing markets and expand into new countries.

Saltside also plans to accelerate investments in product development and brand building.

“Saltside was founded in 2011 with the mission of building leading online marketplaces in underserved markets and creating sustainable value for the community,” said Nils Hammar, chief executive officer (CEO) of Saltside Technologies.

“Through our success with Bikroy, Ikman and Tonaton, we have seen the impact providing safe and efficient marketplaces has had on the everyday lives of over 6 million visitors who use our portals every month. The new funds will enable us to further improve this consumer experience.”

Chris Bischoff, group investment director at Investment AB Kinnevik, said the introduction of new shareholders was an important milestone in Saltside’s journey.

“We are delighted to welcome Hillhouse Capital and Brummer & Partners, two marquee investors, as shareholders in Saltside,” he said.

“The company will benefit from their deep sector expertise and local insights respectively as well as their long-term perspectives. We look forward to consolidating the company’s leadership positions in existing markets and selectively pursuing further growth opportunities with the additional resources now available.”

David Rhee, Partner at Hillhouse Capital, said: “Saltside’s target markets are set to benefit from rapidly increasing internet penetration. The company is best positioned to benefit from this trend with clear leadership positions in each of its three core countries. The focus on localised branding and strong vertical management has created platforms with great engagement so Hillhouse is excited to participate in the next phase of this journey.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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