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Kenya's Rupu closes as Ringier launches new platform

Kenya's Rupu closes as Ringier launches new platform

Rupu has closed shop in Kenya. In its place, online marketplace Ringier has launched PPromos which will concentrate on content marketing for products.

PPromos lead in Kenya Stacey Ondimu told ITWeb Africa that the group buying model was not scaling as much as they would have wished. The company that launched in 2011, offered daily group buying deals.

"Our experiences from Rupu were crucial to come up with the promotions business model: Kenya and other e-commerce markets are still early and while there are many offers for merchants to sell, they are often struggling to grow to a significant scale online. PPromos specifically allows us to advertise merchant's products and services to a much wider audience than was possible with Rupu and we are able to offer a whole scope of deals," Ondimu said.

"Combining our experience from West Africa in publishing with our e-commerce experience in East Africa, we came up with a model that could help merchants regardless of where and how they sell - offline or online."

Ondimu said that the PPromos, a subsection of PLive site, was simultaneously launched in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria and will offer greater value for businesses in these countries.

"Our editorial team additionally ensures that there is attractive content around the savings and deals topics for customers to explore alongside the promotions by merchants. The real power of PPromos will show with time: showcasing a merchant's products alongside an article on the topic on the broader new media publisher distribution channels for example," Ondimu explained.

The reorganisation might affect the original staff size of Rupu. "While there are changes in the set-up of the team, overall the move to promotion and publishing to reach a wider market and become a facilitator of commerce online, should be staff-size neutral."

Ringier in a statement said that this move will enable it to grow its market reach online and enhance e-commerce in Africa. The Pulse content brand is already reaching 50 million people in West Africa already.

The company has signed content sharing deals with Ghafla, Kenya's entertainment site, Business Insider New York Times and Agence France-Press.

Group buying models have not been doing well globally, reflected by one example - the once giant company, Groupon shutting down its South African site late last year, due to its unsustainable business model.

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