Private Property receives US$20-million investment

Private Property South Africa
Justin Clarke

One Africa Media (OAM), previously named Private Property Holdings, has secured a US$25-million round of investment for the expansion of its operations across Africa. The South African-based company that operates Internet classifieds businesses in cars, travel, real estate and jobs secured US$20-million (R205.53-million) from Australian-listed jobs portal SEEK. A significant portion of the group is already owned by Tiger Global Management, the New York based venture capital fund that already partners with SEEK in other ventures across Asia and Latin America.

Private Property Holdings was founded in 1998 with a website that initially promoted private sales and letting of residential real estate, and www.privateproperty.co.za is today regarded as the leading portal for real estate in South Africa.

This investment is a real endorsement of Africa’s online potential. When we started out investing in local entrepreneurs across East and West Africa in 2010, Internet was still very young and we were able to grow organically with early monetisation but, in the last 12 months, we have started to see more competition in these markets. SEEK’s investment will enable us to accelerate growth in our existing businesses and expand operations to capitalise on the large market opportunities across the continent. We are a great business, with the right people in the right place at the right time.

OAM owns market-leading businesses in the real estate, jobs, cars and travel online classified sectors in Africa. OAM’s businesses and operations employ over 350 people in three hubs in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, with satellite offices in Ghana and Uganda – all countries with rapidly growing GDP as well as Internet and mobile penetration rates.

OAM operates leading positions by traffic, page views, ad volume and revenue in most of these verticals:

SEEK Limited is the leading provider of online employment services in Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, www.seek.com.au now hosts approximately 75% of all jobs on the major job sites. It also has a strong presence in emerging economies in Asia and Latin America that complement this latest exposure to early-stage, high-growth African markets

Jason Lenga, managing director of SEEK International, says that Africa presents a strategic opportunity to benefit from the significant long-term growth opportunities for online classifieds businesses.

“Internet and mobile penetration are growing rapidly and key economies within the region are experiencing substantial increases in GDP. This investment is in early-stage, market leading businesses that position OAM to benefit from both the economic and structural growth in the region.”

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