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VENTURES AFRICA – Today’s launch of Safaricom’s MyMarket platform will usher in competition in Kenya’s online merchandising business space, already dominated by local classifieds site, OLX.
The service will offer clients free auction services through mobile phones, Bob Collymore, CEO of the Kenyan-based group said.
Collymore said introducing the service was one of the company’s strategies to diversify product portfolio and attract a wider market.
He said anything from property, cars, and electronics can be bought through the free auction mobile service.
Responding to the entry of Safaricom, Olx Marketing manager, Priscilla Muhiu, said the company has dominated the online market business for a while and is not scared of competition.
“We are ready for any rival… Although many businesses don’t welcome competition, I believe Olx has strongly positioned itself in the online market business,” she said.
Meanwhile, a number of classified portals have closed down in Kenya in recent years, including Mocality and Dealfish, which were succeeded by OLX, while such sites are facing stiff competition from Facebook’s classified segments.
Safaricom, a leading mobile network operator in Kenya, already offers various services like the popular mobile money transfer service M-Pesa.
The company has also partnered with Commercial Bank of Africa and Kenya Commercial Bank to offer M-Shwari and M-Banking services respectively, in efforts to grow clientele.