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Jiji, Tuko & Legit’s sister site raises $21m, mulls a financial services future

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Jiji, a Genesis Technologies firm which bought out Naspers OLX, and sister site to Kenya’s Tuko and Nigeria’s Legit, has raised $21 million to grow its classifieds business in Africa.

Jiji’s funding round was led by Abu Dhabi-based Knuru Capital and gives it an upper hand against Ringier’s PigiaMe and Jumia’s Jumia Deals which don’t have enough money. Jiji aims to grow its pan-African consumer base and transactional volume and ”could layer on services, such as finance and payments.”

“We’ve had a lot of discussions about adding segments other than our main business. We decided that for the next three to five years, we should be laser-focused on our core business — to be the largest marketplace in Africa for buying and selling to over 400 million people,” Mnogoletniy told TechCrunch.

Genesis Technologies, co-founded by Vladimir Mnogoletniy, operates Jiji and other sites in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and Tanzania, and the funding will help it become the most visited digital media platform in Africa behind global conglomerates Google, Twitter and Facebook.

The firm has over 2 million listings serving its over 8 million users monthly after its addition of OLX to its portfolio. The latest funding will be used by Jiji to fuel further expansion across Africa and makes the total funds raised by Jiji to $50 million.

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Jiji plans to use the latest investment toward initiatives to increase the overall number of buyers, sellers, and transactions on its site. The company will also upgrade the platform to create more listings and faster matching in the area of real-estate, according to Mnogoletniy.

“With this transaction we plan to build the largest Africa-based classifieds business, creating a new experience for Africa’s fastest-developing countries and their combined population of 300 million. We firmly believe that in the next 2-3 years ours will be one of the top 10 classifieds businesses in the world by traffic,” said Vladimir Mnogoletniy, Board Director and co-founder of Jiji said on Jiji’s earlier purchase of OLX.

OLX businesses in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania were struggling and Jiji (Genesis) helped fulfill Naspers earlier plan to exit loss-making sub- Saharan Africa.

Apart from Ringier and Jumia, Jiji might face huge competition from Opera’s OList which is live in Nigeria and aims to be expanded across Africa. If the firm finally goes into financial services and payments, there will still be OPay to take on and a plethora of several other platforms operating across Africa.

Genesis Investments, its investments arm invests between $300k and $1mn for 5-30% equity stake and recently led a $1m round into an edtech startup for kids and parents.


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Haraka Haraka app to link customers with service providers

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A new App dubbed “Haraka Haraka” has today been unveiled in Kenya to help customers find the right service providers in their current location within a specified range of choice.

The platform was invented by three former Meru University of Science and technology students and with the app, they seek to make it easier for people to find services such as a plumber, retailers, shops and house agents that have been difficult to get physically.

The team, Mr Kelvin Muinde, Mr Pius Momanyi Nyachio and Mrs Naum Mutie said there are currently about 3,500 users who are potential clients and service providers on the platform who include carpenters, hairdressers, plumbers and mechanics, and more.

“We are taking away the burden of searching for experienced and reliable professional businesses in a hassle-free model to deliver critical services to individuals who are in need of their specific location,” said Pius Momanyi Nyachio who is the Marketing Manager.

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Mr Kelvin Muinde, who is the head of the project said the idea to start Haraka Haraka was initiated out of his observance of people having difficulty in finding a reliable service in an area that they are not well conversant with.

“The biggest challenge customers face is finding the right service providers at any area, mostly if you are not familiar, most people end up getting poor services that cost them time and resources,” he said.

To find any service or to register as a service provider, individuals are requested to first download the Haraka Haraka App on Google and register where later one can choose a range between 100m to 30km to find the service they are in need of.

The app also comes with an option of reviewing and rating a service provider which acts as an advantage to next service seekers enabling easy referrals to new clients.

‘’The registration to the app is free for both users and professionals,’’ said Mr Kelvin Muinde. The company’s aim is to hit 10,000 users by the end of this year. Ideally, they plan to have a maximum of 30,000 professionals on the platform.


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Haraka Haraka app to link customers with service providers

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A new App dubbed “Haraka Haraka” has today been unveiled in Kenya to help customers find the right service providers in their current location within a specified range of choice.

The platform was invented by three former Meru University of Science and technology students and with the app, they seek to make it easier for people to find services such as a plumber, retailers, shops and house agents that have been difficult to get physically.

The team, Mr Kelvin Muinde, Mr Pius Momanyi Nyachio and Mrs Naum Mutie said there are currently about 3,500 users who are potential clients and service providers on the platform who include carpenters, hairdressers, plumbers and mechanics, and more.

“We are taking away the burden of searching for experienced and reliable professional businesses in a hassle-free model to deliver critical services to individuals who are in need of their specific location,” said Pius Momanyi Nyachio who is the Marketing Manager.

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Mr Kelvin Muinde, who is the head of the project said the idea to start Haraka Haraka was initiated out of his observance of people having difficulty in finding a reliable service in an area that they are not well conversant with.

“The biggest challenge customers face is finding the right service providers at any area, mostly if you are not familiar, most people end up getting poor services that cost them time and resources,” he said.

To find any service or to register as a service provider, individuals are requested to first download the Haraka Haraka App on Google and register where later one can choose a range between 100m to 30km to find the service they are in need of.

The app also comes with an option of reviewing and rating a service provider which acts as an advantage to next service seekers enabling easy referrals to new clients.

‘’The registration to the app is free for both users and professionals,’’ said Mr Kelvin Muinde. The company’s aim is to hit 10,000 users by the end of this year. Ideally, they plan to have a maximum of 30,000 professionals on the platform.


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Balala wants investigation into alleged harassment at Ol Jogi launched – KBC

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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala

Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has directed the Kenya Wildlife Service to commence investigations into the alleged harassment of a victim by private game ranchers at Ol Jogi Conservancy in Laikipia County.

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It is reported that the victim known as Mordecai Ogada in the company of his children was harassed on Saturday while driving on a public road in the conservancy.

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In a statement, Balala has asked for speedy investigations and findings to be concluded by Wednesday this week.

The CS added that no discriminations will be allowed to any Kenyan at any conservancy in the country.

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“The government of Kenya and my ministry will not condone any undue harassment or intimidation of Kenyans who are going about their normal businesses and enjoying their God given heritage by anyone,” said CS Balala.

He urged Kenyans to report any such incidents with facts for action to be taken.

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