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VC firm Silvertree Internet Holdings and original PriceCheck founder Kevin Tucker have acquired South Africa’s price comparison platform, PriceCheck from global media giant Naspers for an undisclosed sum.
Update: Ventureburn understands that the acquisition comes with substantial layoffs and that the company will continue to operate with a fraction of its current staff.
Tucker started PriceCheck in 2006 and sold it to Naspers four years later. Today, it claims to be Africa’s largest price comparison service, with 25 million unique annual visitors across its two platforms, and has recorded y-o-y growth of 40% in South Africa and 600% in Nigeria.
The deal is undoubtedly the most high-profile Silvertree has been involved in, although the investor has been particularly busy throughout 2015, pumping R10-million into organic food shop Faithful to Nature and investing in web development agency We Are Monsters.
For Tucker meanwhile it represents a rare opportunity to grow PriceCheck in a way he wouldn’t have been able to when he first sold it to Naspers.
“It is an exciting prospect to retake the reins of a company I started almost a decade ago. Naspers, through investment and strategic partnerships, has built PriceCheck to be a leading price and product comparison platform,” says Tucker in a recent announcement.
“My challenge now is to consolidate the considerable headway they have made over the last five years and build an infrastructure to service the many millions more Africans that will be venturing online for consumer goods, predominantly via mobile, in the coming years,” he added.
PriceCheck operates in South Africa and, more recently, Nigeria with over five million products listed from retailers including Zando, Konga and Jumia.
Tucker, who will be heading PriceCheck, is partnering with Silvertree in this venture through its subsidiary, ClicknCompare — an online financial services comparison site which announced its expansion to Nigeria earlier this year. The platform helps users source services and get valuable advice related to hard-to-navigate verticals, such as insurance, mobile, broadband, and banking.
Manuel Koser, the managing director of Silvertree, explains that PriceCheck shows impressive growth trajectory for the coming years:
It is an exciting time for Africa’s ecommerce sector, as the continent’s rising consumer class continues to flock online in search of top deals and best prices. Adding PriceCheck to ClicknCompare in our portfolio brings Africa’s most exciting product and financial services comparison platforms under one roof.
Exiting PriceCheck CEO Andre de Wet is stepping aside from his role after five years of heading up PriceCheck. “This has been a fantastic journey and I believe that the new CEO Kevin Tucker and Silvertree can build further on what we built at PriceCheck and I honestly wish them all the best going forward,” de Wet says.