South Africa’s MTN extends push into Iranian e-commerce


JOHANNESBURG  – South Africa’s MTN has increased its investment in an Iranian e-commerce business, it said on Monday, without disclosing the size of the transaction.

MTN, Africa’s largest mobile phone company, told Reuters last year that it planned to expand in Iran, where it has a leading position but from which it has not been able to repatriate profits until recently due to U.S. sanctions.

MTN said its Iranian unit Irancell led a funding round for the Iran Internet Group (IIG) to accelerate the e-commerce group’s growth.

IIG runs, a car-hailing platform which MTN last year backed with a $22 million investment, as well as online marketplace and food-ordering service

“Over the past two years we have seen incredible growth at IIG, and this investment by our local partner is testament to the strength of the group’s business model and management team”, MTN Chief Digital Officer Herman Singh said.

MTN, which set aside about $700 million in capital expenditure, part of it to revamp Iran’s network infrastructure, has said it is growing its extending its reach into the nation’s e-commerce rapidly particularly in retail and travel sectors.


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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.


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