Online classifieds business Frontier Digital Ventures has announced it will increase equity shareholdings in three key emerging markets in Myanmar, Ghana and Pakistan.
The Kuala Lumpur-based company, which raised AUD$30 million in an IPO on the ASX in mid-August, will spend US$1.25 million to increase its equity to 42.63 percent in iMyanmar Pte Ltd (iMyanmarhouse.com) in Myanmar; 66.20 percent in Meqasa Holdings Pte Ltd (Meqasa.com) in Ghana and 36.84 percent in automotive marketplace PakWheels Pte Ltd (Pakwheels.com) in Pakistan.
Frontier’s strategy is to partner with local entrepreneurs running market leading online classifieds businesses in frontier markets, then apply its management and operating expertise and financial resources to accelerate their growth and then expand its equity holdings.
FDV will exercising call options in the three companies.
“Our goal is to be the leading operator of online classifieds businesses in select frontier markets across the globe,” said FDV CEO Shaun Di Gregorio.
“We are currently partnered with 15 operating companies across 19 frontier markets, which are growing at a rapid rate. This round of call options will see us increase our equity shareholding in market leading online classifieds businesses in Myanmar, Ghana and Pakistan. The new funding will be deployed to further accelerate their market leadership.”
Di Gregorio said he expected positive outcomes from the financial move, which also includes additional investments in four of its other companies by way of tranche payments.
“Each of the three businesses we are increasing our equity shareholding in – iMyanmarhouse.com, MeQasa.com and PakWheels.com – is exceeding our key performance indicators for growth in advertisers, increasing number of consumers visiting the websites each month, and leads being generated from consumers to advertisers,” he said.
Frontier Digital Ventures has a portfolio of 15 operating companies, each of which it says are market leaders with an early-stage advantage in either the online car, property or general classifieds space.
The company said 19 frontier markets ranging from Pakistan and Myanmar, to Nigeria, Ghana and Morocco, present a tremendous classifieds opportunity thanks to increasing mobile access to the internet and high GDP growth.