Rocket Internet is in the neighbourhood again. This time the small business incubator/”clone factory”/startup collective has plans to introduce the local market to its car classifieds service Carmudi.
It’s been a year since we mentioned Carmudi here. the last time it was when Rocket internet was rolling it out in Ghana, having established a presence in Nigeria, Cameroon and parts of Asia.
A report from Techmoran that laid out expansion plans for another Rocket Internet service, EverJobs, also referenced the clone factory’s intention to have Carmudi in Zimbabwe and Kenya.
At the moment, this sort of service is being provided on the local front by classsifieds.co.zw. It’s hard to say whether the market Carmudi is angling for here is big enough to tussle for with classifieds. After all, the thought of looking for cars online almost always leads to a BeForward discussion.
Still, the move could be inspired by the fact that Classifieds has a foothold on more than one product here so perhaps Carmudi, as a specialist service might be able to do more justice to the market.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of other Rocket Internet startups popping up on the local front in the next couple of years. Africa Internet Holdings, the investment vehicle set up by Rocket Internet in partnership with Millicom and MTN is well-heeled and has a very deliberate focus on investing in parts of African tech space that show enough promise.
Zimbabwe has the makings of such an investment centre, both as a supporting investment and as a central hub for the region. If the Lamudi and Carmudi gambles pay off we will see more Rocket/AIH startups here and MTN might just have a bigger investment in Zimbabwe in a way that we hadn’t expected.