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Best in ‘Class’: THE model for classifieds

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Best in ‘Class’: THE model for classifieds

“I have almost lost track of how many sites we have now, as we are practically launching a new site in another market about every other week,” says Mr Bergman.

Schibsted Media Group bought Blocket in 2003 for 20 million euros from the founder, who was located in a small town in Sweden. It has gradually built up the business, maintaining the original philosophy. “Back then, all ads were reviewed before going online, which would seem outrageous to get anything done, but his primary philosophy was to provide quality content on a classified site, which is normally not the case.”

Realising the potential of the site, Schibsted started expanding in 2006, first into Spain and then into France. Both those sites took off. In Malaysi, has more traffic than Google.

But the growth has not come without some challenges, Mr Bergman said. Italy, for example, “has been really tough. Only until now, some five years later, we are finally in the black.”

And there are some markets that the group is wary about and in which it even failed. In India, for example, “we more or less had to shut it down. It was just too big and fragmented… When there is a lot of competition in a market, like in Germany where eBay, for example, is very strong, we can’t go there.”

For the near future, Mr Bergman says the company is focused intensely on three areas: jobs, real estate and ecommerce.

“Sweden is incredibly advanced online, but we are behind in ecommerce. There is no real Amazon in our market. Out of these three verticals, ecommerce will be the toughest one, but we hope we are the next Amazon in Sweden.”

Video: Simon Morice and David Willox, ICM Business Video.

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Dean Roper's picture

Dean Roper


2012-04-16 13:32

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