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In October this year, online retailer Loot.co.za launched enhancements to its site usability and the customer experience — just in time for the festive season which accounted for 22% of its total revenue in 2011. Today, the eCommerce company, headed up by ex-Kalahari CEO, Gary Hadfield, announced that it has raised a new round of funding from Titan Investments.
Titan is a broad-based black economically empowered investment company whose investments include, among others, a shareholding in EOH, Connection-Telecom, wysetalk.co.za, Quadrem Africa, BCX and RainFin.com.
Investment Director at Titan Investments, Sean Emery — also co-founder and CEO of RainFin.com — says that Loot.co.za is an attractive investment because of its understanding of the local market in which it operates. “We have chosen to partner with Loot.co.za for a number of reasons, chief of which is their understanding that South Africa is not Europe and requires a dedicated, experienced management team with a long track record within the unique dynamics of the South African ecommerce commercial and logistical infrastructure environment,” says Emery.
Emery believes that there is presently hype around the industry which will eventually die down, making international venture capital funds lose interest. He predicts that this is to come as a result of different market dynamics at odds with those in the United States and Europe, and that we should see venture capital funds start to push for higher margins to get their expected venture capital return on investment (ROI). Emery sees Loot.co.za, who claims to be one of the largest business-to-consumer general merchandise and media product revenue generators in the country, weathering the storm.
Established in 2003, Loot.co.za has its roots in books, and over the years has grown to offer a range of product offerings in categories that include DVDs, music, games, electronics, toys and baby products. The company predicts that its highest growth areas are likely to be electronics, computers, toys and baby.