In the wake of one-month users’ complaint of inoperativeness on its website and social media handles, Nigerian online shopping start-up, DealDey has shut down operations in a lowkey manner.
The company, which is known for offering users exclusive deals every single day probably shut down around the second week of December 2018 which was the time users last saw deals on its site and social media pages.
The digital retail start-up workplaces have been locked down and workers have since dismissed in December. DealDey was established by Sim Shagaya in 2011. The digital shopping site amasses daily online discounts on popular goods and services and labels itself as Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest online deals platform with over 1 million users, 15,000 active merchants, and 20,000 verified listed businesses.
Its performance in the e-commerce sector attracted investors in 2015 and secure a $5 million investment fund from Kinnevik but things took another twist which led to the company downsizing its workforce by 60%.
However, a former employee of the company told Techpoint that “DealDey died in 2015 and it is surprising that a lot of people do not know. People were just reporting to work and going through the motion. Everything mirrored to the general public has been a facade to pretend normalcy.”
The employee further maintained that “management became a mess at that point and everything just went downhill.”
Fast forward to 2016, the African subsidiary of Swiss media and e-commerce company, Ringier Africa Deals Group, a joint venture between Swiss Ringier Africa AG and South African Silvertree Internet Holdings Ltd acquired DealDay for $5 million – against the $75 million offered price by the owners.
The company is yet to make any public announcement as per the current situation but, sources familiar with the company said the platform has deliberately taken a silent approach to its departure which happened towards the end of 2018. It has also been reaching out to some of its customers to refund their monies.
This not so good news is trendy as a result of Nigerian business environment which hasn’t been welcoming to the eCommerce businesses overtime.
A case of Efritin, an eCommerce firm and subsidiary of Saltside Technologies which shut down operations in 2017 as a result of high cost of data, punitive economic conditions and growing operations costs in the country.
Konga, a top eCommerce platform saved itself with a merger with Yudala in a $34million acquisition deal from Naspers and ASB Kinnevik by Zinox Technologies – a possession that took away the lion share from its early investors.
An affiliate of Naspers, OLX also backpedalled in 2018 in order to consolidate its operations across the globe. This according to the company, a difficult but important decision.