When you think about it, Lithuania and West Africa don’t seem to have much in common. Well, think again; Lithuanian Mobofree and Eskimi have both found a niche for their social mobile services in African soil, namely in Nigeria, a country with a gigantic population of 168 million potential social animals that connect to the internet mostly through their mobile phones.
Mobile being the very foundation of use for both companies, it’s more clear why they’ve reached such popularity. And it’s no understatement - Eskimi’s social chat and flirt app has over 15 million users, while Mobofree has already 3 million registered users and growing.
While both companies are bound by social interaction, Mobofree uses that approach to create a leading scam-free market where people can buy, sell and swap products with other trusted people.
Currently MoboFree is among the largest mobile social and trusted classifieds platforms in West Africa, generating on average about 65 million page impressions on a monthly base. According to Opera State of The Mobile Web, MoboFree belongs to the Top 8 sites in Nigeria, Top 5 in Zimbabwe and Top 9 in Malawi.
“Since we launched MoboFree in 2011, the concept quickly went viral, attracting immediate registrations from people that enjoyed the possibility to make online deals in a social and safe environment”, says CEO and co-founder of Mobofree, Neringa Kudarauskiene.
Today Mobofree announced of a growth funding raise from Netherlands based eVentures Africa Fund (eVA Fund), who also introduced investor Million Monkeys as co-investor in MoboFree. The amount of the raise wasn't disclosed but the press release described it as "significant".
Million Monkeys is the founder of 2dehands (which was recently exited to eBay) and has extensive experience with online classified platforms, knowledge that will bring important contribution for the development of Mobofree.
The funds will be directed towards local foothold strengthening in Lagos and Accra as well as international expansion in East-Africa.
“We are very exited to have attracted investors like eVA Fund and Million Monkeys to get on board. They not only provide us with a solid financial injection, but also are adding a huge relevant business network and African market know-how to the equation. This investment will allow us to continue and speed up our growth in sub-Saharan Africa and deepen our focus on delivering the most dynamic experience for our users”, says Kudarauskiene.
Africa has potential beyond the meaning the of the word, and with the expansion of mobile technology further into emerging economies, mobile app developers should give it a much closer look.