A top executive at the nonprofit entity responsible for doling out chunks of Internet addresses to businesses and other organizations in Africa has resigned his post following accusations that he secretly operated several companies which sold tens of millions of dollars worth of the increasingly scarce resource to online marketers.
Perhaps the most dogged chronicler of this trend is California-based freelance researcher Ron Guilmette, who since 2016 has been tracking several large swaths of IP address blocks set aside for use by African entities that somehow found their way into the hands of Internet marketing firms based in other continents.
In collaboration with journalists based in South Africa, Guilmette discovered tens of thousands of these wayward IP addresses that appear to have been sold off by a handful of companies founded by the policy coordinator for The African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC), one of the world’s five regional Internet registries which handles IP address allocations for Africa and the Indian Ocean region.
Pan-African digital classifieds company Jiji has raised $21 million in Series C and C-1 financing from six investors, led by Knuru Capital.
Buyers and sellers in those markets use Jiji to transact purchases from real estate to car sales.
The venture bought up one of its competitors in April this year, when it acquired the assets of Naspers owned online marketplace OLX in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The company will also upgrade the platform to create more listings and faster matching in the area of real-estate, according to Mnogoletniy.
Adding to the trend of foreign backed ventures entering Africa’s internet business space, Chinese owned Opera launched an online buy/sell site, OList, last month connected its African payment app, OPay. On outpacing rival in its markets, Jiji’s co-founder Vladimir Mnogoletniy touts the company’s total focus on the classifieds business, market experience, and capital as advantages.