Scout24 Switzerland Ltd, the Swiss arm of a classifieds platform specialising in the European real estate and automotive sectors, has bought competitor Gratis-Inserate.ch for an undisclosed sum.
The company, which operates classifieds platform anibis.ch, says the investment will grow its extensive network of online marketplaces and thereby further strengthen its market position.
Launched in 1998, owner-operated Gratis-Inserate.ch is currently the fourth largest online classifieds platform in Switzerland with approximately 60,000 listings.
Scout24 says bringing anibis.ch and Gratis-Inserate.ch together under one roof will expand Switzerland's "leading network of online marketplaces for vehicles, real estate and classified ads".
Scout24 Switzerland CEO Olivier Rihs says the purchase is an important strategic step to expand the market position of anibis.ch in German-speaking Switzerland.
He adds the users of Gratis-Inserate.ch will benefit from the many advantages and future growth opportunities presented by being a part of the anibis.ch network.
"Anibis.ch has grown impressively in recent years, even without any acquisitions," Rihs says.
"But from early 2015 to early 2016, the number of current listings has burgeoned by 28 per cent to 860'787 and the number of active advertisers has spiked 17 per cent to 353,828.
"During the same period visits have increased by 12 per cent to more than 9 million per month - the proportion of hits from mobile devices has grown by 35 per cent."
In addition Rihs saysthe company recently added the option for listings to be posted to anibis.ch directly using either iOS or Android apps.
Earlier in the year Scout24Media appointed Edzard Maske International Ad Sales responsible for developing the advertising business in Europe following its decision to undertake marketing internally.
The company says Maske will help reinforce digital marketing services with sights now set on globalisation. Maske will report directly to Marc Hundacker, Vice President Scout24Media (Europe).
Shortly after a successful IPO in October, 2015 Scout24 AG was admitted to the SDAX as of December 21, 2015.