Why OLX Acquired Nigeria’s Cars45 – CEO Soumobroto

Mr Ganguly Soumobroto, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cars45, on Friday said the company acquired Nigeria’s largest online used cars market to upscale the business to an international platform.

Soumobroto gave the insight at a news conference at Alausa Shopping Mall while responding to questions on the investment made by the international online market platform, OLX.

OLX Group, Prosus Netherlands-based classified business, invested 400 million dollars in Frontier Car Group (FCG), with the plan to integrate the Berlin-based start-up with the OLX Corporation.

FCG had invested 5 million dollars in Cars45 Series A fund raised in May 2017. This acquisition has made Cars45, a proud member of the OLX Autos family.

The goal is to lead the online market for second-hand cars and transform customer experience in the used car industry.

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Soumobroto explained that the acquisition of Cars45 had enabled the online market for used cars to metamorphose from infancy and nurturing stage to a well-structured international online store.

“OLX Group has its international presence and this is the leverage which Cars45 is now enjoying because of the international platform given to it.

“Naturally, when there is a new ownership, or change in shareholding, there will be change in management structure. Sometimes the real owners may want to do more entrepreneurship.

“For Cars45, it is now a more well-structured business and now belongs to a larger group. The nature of the DNA has changed from start-up or entrepreneurship to larger community and improved structure.

“Businesses have phases, from the founders to another phase which is expansion and that is where we are now to scale up with managers who will spend most time on structuring to meet global demands,’’ he said.

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Soumobroto, a retired Director at KPMG, said the market value of automotive sector in Africa was estimated at 45 billion dollars with used cars accounting for 95 per cent.

“The opportunities for automobile business in Africa is enormous and it is estimated at 45 billion dollars annually which 95 per cent is used cars and less than 5 per cent for new cars.

“What we are doing before is to buy, sell and swap but we noticed that the whole value chain of automobile in Africa is fragmented, so we bring a clearer and verified platform to make it easier.

“We now use our improved technology to help build Nigeria’s automobile business and not to disrupt the system. The value chain from sales to servicing and maintenance to scraps is almost non-existence.

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“So what we plan to do is to apply technology to the business and make it well coordinated and structured for easy ownership and disposal at convenience,’’ he said.

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