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Startup Profile: Delaala

EntrepreneurCountry Global Tuesday, 08 July 2014.

As consumer spending grows across Africa, it's not surprising that foreign direct investment (FDI) is on the rise. But while corporates invest in flashy storefronts and branding, startup Delaala is harnessing the network effect to empower Africans to capitalise on growth for themselves.

shutterstock 110973782In August last year, the International Business Times joined a host of publications in declaring that African consumer spending was flourishing. Western brands immediately invested in traditional marketing, pushing Africa's global FDI share to its highest level in 10 years.

Meanwhile, digital David Delaala is planning to bring Africans together to trade in the ways that have formed part of the continent's cultural identity for centuries, bringing the market stall into the internet age.

Delaala, which means 'to exchange and connect' in Swahili, Amharic, Somali, Arabic and Hindi, is an online trading platform in the mould of Gumtree and Craigslist; giving users a space to advertise properties, jobs and goods for free. And as it expands, and the network effect builds, the growth potential becomes enormous.

This isn't lost on Delaala either. It's launching in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe at a rate of two new countries per month. So if all goes to plan, African consumers and sellers alike can both expect to share in the continent's newfound prosperity. This can only mean good things for Africa, and the rest of the world.

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