When eBay launched in North America, it gave American consumers a new perspective on their roles in the emerging digital economy. Thanks to a strategic partnership with one of Africa's largest online shopping platforms, eBay could do the same for yet another continent.
TechCrunch is reporting that eBay has finalized a partnership with MallforAfrica.com, an African eCommerce startup with access to consumers in Nigeria and Kenya. Through MallforAfrica.com, eBay users in the U.S. will be able to sell directly to buyers in those countries, and MallforAfrica CEO Chris Folayan noted that Ghana will also be added to the list by the end of 2016.
“We are creating a unique ‘eBay Powered by MallforAfrica’ app to run on all our platforms. When buyers in Africa shop with this app, they’ll be able to shop on eBay, buy what they want, check out, and pay through MallforAfrica,” Folayan told TechCrunch.
Despite operating an ocean away, MallforAfrica owns a logistics center in Portland, Oregon, from which it will handle the shipping and fulfillment for eBay orders destined for African travel. Shoppers will start and place orders entirely through a dedicated MallforAfrica-eBay portal, with fintech partners Paga and M-Pesa handling the dirty work of automatically converting currencies into their preferred modes on every end.
“Working with MallforAfrica will enable more of our sellers to reach more African consumers, and for more African consumers to access the products that they want but cannot find locally,” Fernando Saiz, business development director at eBay, told TechCrunch. “Our goal is to connect people around the world through commerce, wherever they may be.”