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.”