The investment continues the firm’s successful strategy of partnering with market leaders in online classifieds segment within frontier markets globally, FDV said in a statement.
The investment amount was not disclosed.
Founder and CEO Shaun Di Gregorio pointed out that Kupatana.com had shown rapid growth in the East African market. It is the market leader in the East African market of Tanzania, with an expanding presence in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
“One of our target frontier regions is East Africa and the team at Kuapatan.com has made huge steps in building a great business that is the clear leader in Tanzania, growing rapidly in Uganda and with an expanding presence in the neighbouring countries of Rwanda and Burundi,” he said in a statement.
Kupatana.com provides general classifieds listings including automobiles, real estate, consumer goods and more, and also offer users over 120,000 classifieds listings. It had recorded greater than 720,000 visits with 4.82 million page views and 3.31 million mobile app screen views in the month of May.
“With an estimated population approaching 50 million people, and the fifth most populated country in sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania represents one of the world’s most economically desirable frontier markets. The country is considered one of the most stable democracies in Africa, and has historically maintained friendly relations with both the US and China, both of which additionally are major trading and foreign direct investment partners,” FDV noted.
Having reported 6.1 million Internet users in 2012, Tanzania’s Internet infrastructure was recently enhance by country-wide fibre connections, allowing for cheap and accessible Internet throughout the country.
The government has further committed to expanding Tanzania’s Internet architecture, through the introduction of 4G LTE, making mobile Internet access cheaper, faster and more accessible as well, the statement said.
FDV is on target to making 30 investments in disruptive digital businesses with a mandate focused on five key frontier regions like Central America, Middle East & North Africa, East Africa, West Africa and South Asia.
“Frontier will utilize its extensive resources and expertise to solidify Kupatana.com’s dominance in the market, whilst providing critical strategic and operational support to continue to grow the business. The deal affirms Frontier’s commitment to developing leading e-commerce and online classifieds opportunities and businesses in frontier markets,” the statement added.
FDV recently invested an undisclosed amount into Panama-based Encuentra24.com. In the past nine months, it has also invested in Pakistan’s PakWheels.com and Myanmar classifieds businesses, MyanmarCarsDB.com and iMyanmarHouse.com.
Di Gregorio formerly served as CEO of Australia Stock Exchange-listed iProperty Group, operator of Asia’s top network of property portals.
He spearheaded the transformation of iProperty Group from a small online business into one of the largest listed Internet companies in Asean, with a market capitalisation of $600 million during his four year tenure. Di Gregorio was also the general manager of REA Group Ltd, where he was instrumental in taking the company from a capitalization of $25.5 million to $720 million, whilst growing the business into a company with more than 300 staff and revenues exceeding A$150 million annually.
REA Group is a digital advertising company that operates Australia’s leading property websites.