South African Internet and media company Naspers has become the largest shareholder in Avito, the leading online classifieds platform in Russia with more than 35 million unique monthly visitors, acquiring shares from existing shareholders including Northzone, Accel Partners and Kinnevik.
Naspers, which initially invested in Avito back in 2013, has increased its stake in the business from 17.4% to 67.9% on a fully diluted basis, in a vote of confidence in the growth prospects of the Russian e-commerce market. Avito’s management will remain invested, as well.
The deal is valued at about $1.2 billion. Kinnevik has sold its entire 31% stake for $846 million, and Accel Partner and Northzone have also fully exited the business, Tech.eu has confirmed. As noted by its early backers (see below), this is one of the largest European VC-backed company exits ever, as it values Avito at a total of about $2.7 billion while remaining private.
For the fiscal year 2014, Avito reported revenues of $76.5 million and an EBITDA margin of 50.6%.
Accel’s Sonali De Rycker, who led the firm’s $75 million round in Avito back in 2012 and served on its board, says: “Congratulations to Avito and Naspers! It has been a privilege to work with Avito’s founders, Jonas and Filip, as they have created one of the largest and most innovative classifieds business in the world.”
We just agreed to sell our stake in Avito.ru to Naspers, valuing the company at $ 2.7 billion. One of the largest European vc deals ever— @pjparson Fri Oct 23 06:35:00 +0000 2015
We're thrilled to announce the sale of @avito_ru to Naspers in one of the biggest EU VC-backed exits: https://t.co/sc9E7pzo12 #sthlmtech— @martasjogren Fri Oct 23 06:49:12 +0000 2015
The transaction, worth US$1.2bn, will further strengthen our position as global leader in online classifieds— @Naspers Fri Oct 23 06:49:59 +0000 2015