Konga, one of Nigeria’s big two online shopping destinations has completed a new round of venture funding in the sum of $25 million. Previous Konga investors, Kinnevik and Naspers are the two participants in the series B round. The “official” but yet to be announced deal was was finalised mere days to the end of 2013, according to sources close to the situation.
Beyond the fact that the round is skewed towards Swedish Kinnevik’s lead, we could not ascertain the structure of the deal, nor the resulting valuation. Preceding cash injections saw $3.5 million seed (Kinnevik) and $10 million series A (Kinnevik, Naspers) invested into the e-commerce company in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The latest raise in December of 2013 brings Konga’s total funding to $38.5 million.
Konga CEO, Sim Shagaya declined to comment on the size of the latest fund. In a sparse response to our inquiry, he said “the new injection” would allow the company invest in high quality personnel, build out technical systems, and achieve “operational excellence in 2014”.
So far, the online store has held its own against stiff Rocket Internet-fueled competition. Jumia, the resulting amalgam of Kasuwa and Sabunta had a two-month headstart in May 2012 and has received a total of $50 million in funding, compared to Konga’s $13.5 million between August 2012 and December 2013.
Konga employs 200 staff (Crunchbase info) and in the past year has assembled a formidable executive team comprising individuals that used to occupy senior roles at companies like Etisalat, Google, Amazon, Millicom and interestingly, Jumia.
Further, we have learnt that the Konga has recently struck a deal with UPS – a technical integration that will allow the store leverage the courier’s massive logistics footprint across Nigeria – facilitating not only nationwide delivery but also adding tracking capabilities to their orders.
Konga’s $25 million dollar round is the biggest single raise by any single African startup yet. Other African startup rounds in the million dollar circle include Koko Kopo’s $2.6 million series A and iROKOtv’s $8 million series D. In June 2013, Rocket raised $35 million to be distributed across their AIH startups.
UPDATE: A Konga spokesperson has contacted us with the following statement.
Konga’s investors continue to support the business financially. They do so because they are pleased with the company we are building and the customers we are serving. Fund raising is not the objective of our business. Serving our customers is the ultimate objective and we are confident that so long as we do this consistently, our investors who are long term and highly strategic will continue to support us. All of resources and energies are being put towards building out our team, deploying world class technological and logistics systems and achieving operational excellence in the Nigerian market in the short term.