“There’s no strong need for eCommerce in Sub-Saharan Africa” — Gloo founder, Olumide Olusanya

by | Jan 14, 2019

According to Internet World stats from December 31, 2017, there are 453.3 million estimated Internet users in Africa. In spite of this figure, Olumide Olusanya thinks there’s no strong need for eCommerce in the Sub Saharan African region.

By February 2019, the eCommerce business of Gloo will be joining the likes of DealDey as Nigerian eCommerce businesses that have closed shop. Olusanya is the founder and CEO of Gloo. He made known the decision to finally shut down the eCommerce company after almost seven years of operations.

He made the announcement in a Twitter thread and also used the opportunity to reveal that he will be launching his new business which has been in stealth mode for the past 18 months.

Apparently, the Nigerian eCommerce industry may not be profitable in the next ten years. Responding to one of the questions on the thread, Olusanya opined that the need for eCommerce in Africa is not strong enough. Another reason highlighted by the ‘Chief Glootian’ is that Total Addressable Market (TAM) is not big enough while there are high service delivery frictions.


With what has been happening in the eCommerce industry in the past few years, Olusanya’s claims are valid. DealDey finally shut its doors in December last year, in the same year Konga was acquired and the major stakeholder in the company — Naspers — lost $38 million for selling Konga. Jumia has also been recording loss in millions of dollars for a couple of years.

Olusanya further revealed that he won’t have started an eCommerce business if he had the knowledge of the industry that he has today. And as it would turn out, the new business won’t have been possible without running Gloo.


Apparently, Olusanya knew that Gloo would be leaving the eCommerce sector after the recession of 2016.

Gloo will be selling off its inventory at a 50% discount, it would also be selling assets that are related to the eCommerce business.

Techpoint reached out to Olusanya and we will keep you posted.

Looking to transition into tech? Learn how to code in 1 year with AltSchool Africa. Earn a diploma in software engineering at $0. Apply Here.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recent News

Betting $165 million on Africa’s B2B eCommerce in 2021

Betting $165 million on Africa’s B2B eCommerce in 2021

While Africa’s eCommerce struggles frequently make the news, investors have bet a combined $165 million on a growing class of startups in 2021. Today on #TechpointDigest, @eruskkii discusses the rise of B2B marketplaces in Africa.

Subscribe to Techpoint Digest!

A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Crypto Explorer

A monthly series featuring in-depth analysis on the cryptocurrency sector in Africa

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to The Experts

A bi-weekly where tech career specialists take us on their journey from newbie to expert, and how they became successful in the industry.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Founder's Table

A monthly series, where we catch up with founders in the startup ecosystem, learn about their failures, successes and a few tricks of the trade

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap