3 possible reasons Leo-Stan Ekeh bought Konga

by | Feb 5, 2018

A peaceful weekend was rattled by news that the Zinox Group had acquired Konga, one of Nigeria’s biggest eCommerce giants in a sudden swoop. The Zinox Group is a technology company that built Nigeria’s first internationally certified computer systems and has large substantial stakes in ICT in Nigeria.

Chronicling the development of technology and ICT in Nigeria will never be complete without mentioning the Zinox Group and its founder and chairman, Mr. Leo-Stan Ekeh.

Apart from being a giant in innovation and technology, Leo-Stan Ekeh is also an astute businessman with decades of successes under his belt.

But all these do not in anyway explain why he bought Konga.

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A time when the eCommerce aspect of consumer internet in Nigeria is not making plenty business sense does not look like a good time for a business savvy man like Leo to make this deal.


Suggested read: Of funding sprees, low ROIs and massive layoffs: The future of eCommerce in Nigeria


 

And the fact that a reliable source within the company’s rank has stated expressly that Konga won’t be merged with Yudala even further confuses the matter.

Here are possible explanations for the Zinox Group acquiring Konga.

Strengthen Yudala

Even though Zinox has — unofficially — stated it won’t merge Konga with Yudala, there’s much more that can happen in terms of a relationship. .

Konga is likely one of the few eCommerce platforms in Africa with its own bespoke software solutions. In February 2014, Konga started work on its own custom marketplace platform, SellerHQ and by September of that year it was ready and working better than 3rd party solutions.

There is also a Notification as a Service (NaaS) tool that was built to keep in touch with customers and merchants.

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Compared to 3rd party template eCommerce solutions, these software tools were built with Nigeria and Africa in mind and are by extension more efficient.

Even if a merger does not eventually happen, Konga’s technology can effectively strengthen Yudala.

Incorporate a software company

Software is the new fad and software companies are ruling the world. For all its technological greatness, the Zinox Group is still largely a hardware and business-focused company. With the aforementioned bespoke proprietary software solutions, Konga can be a software company under Zinox that caters to the needs of eCommerce platforms across Africa.

The Zinox Group has had a run at eCommerce in the past with BuyRightAfrica.com so they should know where the figurative software shoe pinches.

Magento is still the global go-to for eCommerce solutions across Africa even Konga still uses it. But with proper structure, Konga can effectively fill this gap and make a killing doing it.

Diversify and sell

If the supposed $10 million acquisition price is anything to go by, Zinox got Konga at less than a bargain considering that Konga’s original investors probably lost money.

But as an astute businessman, selling off Konga in parts can be a possible motivation.

Konga currently has three subsidiary arms — KOS Delivery, KongaPay and Konga.com — and they all have the potential to be individual product portfolios.

The current global eCommerce boom has ensured that logistics is a well in-demand service if properly structured. With Kobo and its large volume of transactions as an example, logistics is a big deal in Nigeria if done right so KOS Delivery won’t have a problem scaling and selling.

Payments is still one of the biggest bane of eCommerce in Nigeria and KongaPay can be positioned to tackle this issue as a company on its own.

Finally, for all the software reasons, Konga is still one of the best structured eCommerce platforms in Nigeria. This gives it an automatic edge to fly.

With his experience in business, Leo Stan Ekeh won’t have any problems diversifying Konga into all these already existing arms, building stable entities and selling them off.

 

 

 

Victor Ekwealor
Victor Ekwealor

tech. media. startups. africa. vc | Twitter: @victor_ekwealor


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Ofuzo
Ofuzo
4 years ago

Why would the man repackage and sell anything? Of course, he will repackage and grow, but I don’t know about selling since the man has not sold any of his business before. My hunch is that he’s consolidating, growing and expanding.

Victor Ekwealor
Victor Ekwealor
Reply to  Ofuzo
4 years ago

“Repackaging and selling” is purely from a business perspective considering the state of e-commerce in Nigeria. At the end of the day, it’s all hunches. ☺

Ofuzo
Ofuzo
Reply to  Victor Ekwealor
4 years ago

The man just doesn’t look like a seller. He has a DNA of an aquirer written all over him. Another question is; who is he going to sell to? Again, he doesn’t look like somebody that will be empowering foreign multi nationals by selling stuff to them.

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