MIH Internet Africa Group, the Internet arm of Naspers in Africa, confirmed that it is considering closing some non-core brands such as Style36 and 5 Rooms. The company said that it is consulting with staff.
The company said that it will be placing all efforts behind Kalahari, which has had a very strong Christmas and has just introduced an advanced platform successfully.
“It is going to grow Kalahari aggressively over the next year,” explained Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo from Africa Internet Accelerator – the company behind Style36, 5Rooms and Kinderelo.
Naspers’ Meloy Horn said that this process does not affect other Naspers subsidiaries with e-commerce investments in Africa, including Media24, which is focusing on fashion e-commerce.
“Media24 continues to leverage its magazine titles to drive e-commerce activity, especially through fast-growing fashion vertical Spree, and is planning to expand substantially in this area,” said Horn.
She added that she cannot provide more details at this stage as the consultation process is on-going.
“On a group basis we remain very excited about the future growth prospects for e-commerce and continue to build out our platforms in many markets around the world,” she said.
This confirmation follows an earlier report that four of Naspers’ eCommerce websites – SACamera, 5rooms, Kinderelo and Style36 – were taken down on Thursday 20 February 2014.
All the websites currently carry a maintenance message, but industry speculation suggested that Naspers was planning to pull the plug on these ventures.