Frontier Digital Ventures clocks 5th African investment with Afribaba deal

Visual from the company website. September 2015

Marking its fifth deal in Africa, Kuala Lumpur-based digital investment firm Frontier Digital Ventures (FDV) has invested in general classifieds site Afribaba Holdings to drive the company’s expansion across French-speaking markets in West Africa. Afribaba is FDV’s 12th investment in the past 12 months.

An executive from FDV confirmed that the deal was completed following talks that began in July.

The executive told DEALSTREETASIA that Africa remained an attractive region given its sizeable frontier markets. The person commented that Afribaba was unique in that it targets the French-speaking countries in Western Africa. The 24 French-speaking countries in Africa account for a population of 120 million. “The investment will help push Afribaba’s plans to expand into other French-speaking markets in Africa,” the person said.

“Afribaba is an ongoing success story and it aims to become the leading local classifieds ads internet business in Africa. We are planning to operate in four African countries in the next few weeks and probably in most African countries in the next few months,” Afribaba founder and CEO Jacques Temgo Guiffo told African technology news site TechMoran last week.

“In Cameroon, Afribaba is launching with afribaba.cm, while in Senegal, (we) are working to launch with afribaba.sn,” he added, noting that the company will be opening its Cameroon office first.

The classifieds company is also launching in Ivory Coast, as afribaba.ci and in Gabon, as afribaba.ga.

Guiffo added that Afribaba is supported by global experts in e-commerce and African markets. The founder is now revamping the designs of his sites across the first few markets Afribaba is concentrating on while putting together a team on ground in some of the markets.

Afribaba has a presence in various African markets and the firm will now expand from market to market until it covers the continent.

“I do personally think that, Africa is the future and we cannot say it is not ready yet,” he told TechMoran. Guiffo cites Rocket Internet and Naspers OLX as Afribaba’s biggest competitors.

Also read:

Frontier Digital Ventures invests in Tanzania’s Kupatana.com

Frontier Digital Ventures acquires stake in Propertymaputo.com

Frontier Digital Ventures buys 32% in Moroccan automotive portal Moteur.ma

Frontier Digital Ventures invests $3.5m in PakWheels.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.