Nigerian classifieds startup MOBOfree sees 44% growth in users

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Nigerian classified site MOBOfree, which also has a strong footprint in Uganda and Zimbabwe, has announced it has seen a 44 per cent increase in registered users in Nigeria over the last year, taking it to over four million users in total.

Launched in 2011, MOBOfree allows users to buy and sell online from any device, including PCs, smartphones and feature phones. Though half of its users are in Nigeria, its footprint across the continent means it is one of the largest classifieds platforms in Africa.

The past 12 months have seen significant growth, with the startup also reporting a 1,042 per cent increase in the number of classifieds published on the site in Nigeria, meaning there are now more than 500 000 active listings in Nigeria only.

Registered users in Uganda increased by more than 1,555 per cent, resulting in a 5,548 percent increase in the number of classifieds published on MOBOfree in the East African country.

“Online trading is growing rapidly across Africa as the IT and mobile infrastructure across the continent continues improving. Despite that, part of our challenge still is convincing people of the value of using the internet to buy, sell or swap items and services,” said Cristobal Alonso, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of MOBOfree.

“In line with that, we understand that African countries have their own culture, different rates of internet, mobile and smartphone penetration, so every African market should be approached with an individual strategy. Things that work in Europe or United States can be totally unacceptable for African users.”

Alonso said MOBOfree had entered the African markets with a “unique concept”, given it connects social networks and classifieds together in a single platform.

“The substantial growth achieved by MOBOfree confirms that this concept is well accepted in African markets as the number of users is quickly growing and more and more people seem to prefer MOBOfree to traditional classifieds companies,” he said.

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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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