Takealot: we will be the biggest e-commerce site in SA

Takealot, a South African e-commerce website, says it is growing at 100%, and expects to continue on that growth path for the foreseeable future.

“Our major competitor is Kalahari.com.  We anticipate that we will be larger than them within the next 12 months,” said Kim Reid, Takealot.com CEO.

Last week, the group raised $100 million (just over R1 billion) from its major shareholder, New York Based, Tiger Global Management.

Reid said that the South African market has shown encouraging signs of e-commerce growth in the past three years as an increasing number of consumers become accustomed to transacting online.

The potential for e-commerce is large, in a retail market in excess of R500 billion, online transactions currently account for less than 1%, the former Naspers employee said.

Reid told CNBC Africa that the latest cash injection would be put into working capital, technology, warehousing and logistics, and increasing human capital.

“We’re also going to be looking at expansion into sub-Saharan Africa. Our sub-Saharan Africa plans are currently confidential. We do have ambitions, but we’re first going to consolidate in South Africa,” Reid said.

Tiger Global is a United States based investment firm which manages hedge funds and private equity funds.

Takealot, which was born after the acquisition and rebranding of Take2, was officially launched on 15 June 2011.

“Our current growth rates are in excess of 100 percent and there’s no reason why we can’t keep those growth rates growing for the foreseeable future,” Reid told CNBC Africa.

Naspers response

Kalahari.com, South Africa’s largest online retailer, and owned by listed media and internet giant, Naspers, pointed to accelerating growth.

“Kalahari is the market leader in e-retail in South Africa and has been for the past fifteen years. We have an established track record and a diversified product portfolio that is well entrenched with the South African consumer,” said CEO, Caren Genthner-Kappes in a statement.

“We see accelerating growth in our own business and great potential in the South African market overall, so it is to be expected that this would attract more investments.”

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Takealot: we will be the biggest e-commerce site in SA