- Africa’s largest company by market value, Naspers, is boosting its investment in its online retail platform, Takealot.
- This news comes two months after Amazon revealed plans to open a marketplace in South Africa.
- Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, CEO of Naspers' South African unit, says the company intends to invest more in its business so that it is "well positioned" to deal with whatever Amazon may bring.
Following its merger with Naspers-owned Kalahari.com in 2015, Takealot has consistently evolved into a significant player in the South African eCommerce sector, attracting increased investment from Naspers.
Takealot is one of the biggest eCommerce retailers in Africa and a prominent player in the South African market. The online retailer saw 17.5 million visits worldwide in November 2023, with 90% of those visits coming from users in South Africa. The platform's revenue has grown over time, reaching $392 million in 2020 and $606 million in 2021.
While it awaits the launch of Amazon in the country, scheduled for 2024, Naspers has expanded its services to include one-hour delivery for a wide range of products, from phone chargers to toys.
Furthermore, the platform realised it needed to grow to survive the competitive environment that Amazon and Massmart posed. Recall that in 2011, Walmart, a global retailer, acquired a 51% stake in Massmart, a South African online retailer.
In September 2022, Walmart increased its investment in Massmart by purchasing the remaining 47% of the store for R 6.4 billion, or roughly $358 million, giving Walmart more control over Massmart and enabling the company to drive change amid high competition.
Online retail in South Africa grew by a significant 35% in 2022, reaching a total of R55 billion, according to a World Wide Worx and Mastercard study. It comes after a 40% increase in the year prior, making the total R42.3 billion in 2021.
This indicates that eCommerce is rapidly expanding across the country and that innovations will provide customers with more options.