The online classifieds operator Adevinta has announced that it is to exit Kufar, its generalist classifieds platform based in Belarus and transfer 100% of the company's shares to the existing local team.
Founded in 2012, Kufar is Belarus's leading horizontal classifieds player offering everything from second hand used goods to real estate and online credit services. The website has some 5.8 million active users and was originally part of the Schibsted portfolio before being transferred to Adevinta in 2019.
In a statement, Adevinta put the move to divest down to a focus on its 'growing at scale' strategy revealed during a capital markets day in November. Under the strategy, the company is focussing on its core, profitable European markets (Germany, France, Spain, Benelux and Italy) and putting other markets up for review.
Rolv Erik Ryssdal, Adevinta CEO, said: “Last year, we announced the launch of a review of several of our businesses, including Kufar, as part of our strategic decision to focus on bolstering market-leading positions in our five core European markets. Kufar is a business with a lot of potential, and we are confident that the company will continue to grow under the leadership of Tanya Lemesheva and her management team.”
Tanya Lemesheva, Kufar CEO, said: “Being part of the team and journey that has witnessed Kufar expand and grow into a profitable business and now a market leader in second-hand online marketplaces in Belarus, with 141 employees, has been a privilege. This exit represents a new chapter for the brand which should initiate further growth and innovation.”
Although Kufar was one of the marketplaces Adevinta was considering exiting anyway, the war in Ukraine and Belarus's role in facilitating the brutal Russian invasion must surely have been important factors that the Norwegian company's decision to cut ties.
Fellow global classifieds giant Prosus exited Avito.ru last month and wrote down a $700m investment in doing so while other western companies and individuals have been scrambling to disassociate themselves from countries and regimes that are being crippled by sanctions and participating in war crimes.