Clemens Weitz, previously COO of Ringier Africa Classifieds, has now been appointed as CEO of ROAM (Ringier One Africa Media).

And as of November 13th, 2017, ROAM, the merged entity of Ringier Africa and One Africa Media (OAM) became official and operational. Ringier Africa and One Africa Media (OAM) agreed to merge their pan-African Classifieds assets to create and grow Africa’s largest classifieds group in 2016.

ROAM operates a number of Africa’s leading Classifieds businesses across the continent and will from now on activate synergies that will allow both buyers and sellers to benefit from a unprecedented ecosystem.

ROAM’s portfolio comprises both vertical classifieds in cars, jobs and real estate as well as general classifieds where a large variety of products can be sold and bought by professionals and individuals alike. It combines One Africa Media’s vertical classifieds businesses Jobberman, BrighterMonday, Cheki, BuyRentKenya and Private Property Nigeria with Ringier-Africa’s general classifieds Expat-Dakar, ZoomTanzania, PigiaMe and Qefira and property portal MaMaison. In addition, new partners such as Mediatiz in Mauritius and Classifieds.co.zw and Property.co.zw are intended to join the group.

The various platforms now benefit from synergies between the individual businesses, greater knowledge sharing and joint technology. They are managed from the teams on the ground in the nine countries where ROAM is present: Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and Ethiopia. The technology and product development teams are based in Cape Town and Mauritius.

According to Robin Lingg, CEO Ringier Africa and Asia, “Together with our partners, and main shareholders of One Africa Media respectively, Tiger Global Management and SEEK, the leading global employment marketplace Group, we strive to make ROAM the most innovative, encompassing and successful classifieds company in Sub-Saharan Africa. With our strong local brands we enjoy the trust of our users and develop solutions which are a perfect fit for African users. Clemens Weitz has been appointed as the CEO of the new ROAM Group and I am looking forward to continued cooperation. Clemens joined us in Africa in 2014 and has extensive experience in this field.”

Clemens Weitz, new ROAM CEO, explains: “We are privileged to contribute to the positive disruption that digital solutions bring to our African markets. Many markets are still highly non-transparent, informal and fragmented. Buyers are typically overcharged due to asymmetrical information, and jobseekers defrauded by fake companies. Our goal is to empower Africans through transparency, and transform markets through technology. Every month we already reach millions of users, and the growth potential is huge, with the number of smartphones expected to increase fivefold by 2025. We support our users throughout key events in their life, such as finding a first apartment, a new job or buying a car.  Since many of their challenges are unique across the world, we do not copy and paste “developed market” models but build truly local approaches. We are grateful for our strategic shareholders Ringier, Tiger Global and SEEK who combine and support our local perspective with their international scope and experience.

We celebrate this merger as a major milestone, from which not only ROAM but also our users and Small-Medium-sized-entities (SMEs) will profit significantly, for example by extended reach or accessing a new range of products.”