Naspers’ OLX no longer involved in operations of Russian subsidiary Avito

Naspers’ OLX no longer involved in operations of Russian subsidiary Avito
Russia’s leading classifieds platform Avito, owned by Africa's Naspers, is going it alone and will operate as an independent Russian business. / wiki
By East West Digital News in Moscow April 6, 2022

Avito, Russia’s leading classifieds platform (a subsidiary of OLX Group, owned by Naspers affiliate Prosus), will operate as an independent Russian business, reports East-West Digital News (EWDN).

“We can confirm OLX Group has taken a decision to cease all involvement in its Russian operations. The separation process is underway which will decouple the companies into two independent entities. Avito will operate as an independent Russian entity run by a local management team, and governed by its own board of directors. Prosus will have no day-to-day involvement in the operations of the business and will neither invest further nor seek to benefit economically from the interest in Avito in these circumstances.” Prosus statement in late March.

International success story in Russia

Launched in 2007 by Swedish entrepreneurs Filip Engelbert and Jonas Nordlander, Avito quickly asserted its leadership in Russia. The company was backed by a bevy of international investors, including Vostok Nafta Investment (now rebranded to Vostok New Ventures) and Kinnevik.

In 2015, Naspers acquired a controlling stake in Avito, marking one of Europe’s largest startup exits at that time. The South African group offered $1.2bn to increase its stake from 17.4% to 67.9%.

In 2019, the South African group took full control of the company, valuing it at $3.85bn – up from $2.7bn in 2015.

In November 2021, according to Similarweb, Avito became the world’s most visited classified ads website with some 280mn visits monthly.

Company revenues reached $313mn in 2020, according to data cited by ReviewBolt.


This article first appeared in East-West Digital News (EWDN), a bne IntelliNews partner publication.