EBay has completed another major acquisition, a group of Latin American sites operating under the AlaMaula brand.
The site and its related sites enter a crowded field. OLX.com, owned by Naspers, is strong in Latin America, as are a number of regional sites. And EBay still has its Slando.com site operating in Brazil alongside Alamaula. (You can bet they’ll be merged fairly quickly.)
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. AlaMaula — which roughly translates into the surprise expression “Oh, wow” — joins the other EBay Classifieds Group brands, including Kijiji, Gumtree, EBayClassifieds (United States), Mobile.de and Rent.com. In its news release (posted here), the company said the start-up site launched in February 2010 and is “already showing impressive organic growth with over 5 million visits per month.”
“AlaMaula is a promising start-up with a fantastic local team whom we are excited to welcome into the EBay Global Classifieds portfolio,” said Pat Kolek, VP of finance and operations for EBay Classifieds Group. “There is significant untapped potential for online commerce in Latin America and we’re confident by applying the collective experience within our portfolio we can build our next success story.”
Kolek is based in Amsterdam; Diego Noriega, GM of AlaMaula, will report to him and will be based in Latin America. EBay gave no indication whether it would move AlaMaula from its current headquarters location in Cordoba, Argentina, nor whether it would keep the entire staff or would be making staffing changes.
The site will focus on key Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets, EBay said.
AlaMaula was founded in late 2009 and started as one site, but now includes country, city and vertical sites in 10 countries. EBay said the acquisition would give its classifieds group a presence in 25 countries and more than 1,000 cities. EBay launched its initial classifieds sites in 2004.
The acquisition was announced in Argentina on June 23, but was not announced in the United States or placed on EBay’s corporate website. http://www.ebayinc.com/ . Because it was not announced in the United States, the publicly traded EBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) effectively indicated that it does not consider the acquisition material to its financial results in the immediate future.