How Jiji is Building a Trusted Classifieds Marketplace in Africa Powered by DigitalOcean

Jiji Website
“We see that the response times from our servers decrease when we use Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets.”
Nick Zorin, Co-Founder and CTO of Jiji

Jiji is a leading online classifieds marketplace based in Africa that facilitates the buying and selling of a wide range of goods and services, from mobile phones to home goods. Their platform provides unparalleled access, convenience, and safety to millions of buyers and sellers across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Senegal. Jiji used DigitalOcean CPU-Optimized Droplets, Volumes Block Storage, and Spaces Object Storage to build their trusted e-commerce platform.

Building a trusted marketplace for consumers across Africa

Founded in 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria, Jiji has become a go-to classified marketplace in Africa, bringing the power of e-commerce to the fingertips of millions. Leveraging technology to connect buyers and sellers, Jiji offers a secure platform that provides a diverse range of products and services—from cars and real estate to fashion and electronics.

The company’s vision is deeply rooted in creating an accessible and efficient e-commerce ecosystem that bridges the gap between consumers and producers in Africa’s sprawling markets. In the process, Jiji has grown to over 1500 globally distributed team members and has established itself as a trusted and user-friendly platform that seamlessly facilitates transactions. Today, Jiji connects millions of buyers and sellers across the continent. By simplifying the trading process and providing a secure environment for transactions, Jiji is transforming the landscape of online business in Africa.

Choosing the DigitalOcean Cloud from day one

When it came to choosing a cloud provider for the business, Nick Zorin, the company’s Co-Founder, and CTO, chose DigitalOcean from the start. That decision was driven by three factors: user-friendliness, functionality, and affordability.

“It was competitively priced and easy to use. DigitalOcean was approachable for us. We could start using it from the beginning. It just worked.” — Nick Zorin, Co-Founder and CTO of Jiji

Nearly a decade later, the choice has proven to be the right one. Jiji remains on DigitalOcean and has scaled with the platform as they’ve accumulated more users, earned more classified listings, and expanded to more countries. They’ve used Droplets to form the basis of their backend servers and Volumes and Spaces for their storage needs.

When they made a strategic acquisition of another leading online classifieds platform, one of their first orders of business was migrating the platform from Google Cloud to DigitalOcean. In the process, they optimized workloads and found cost savings.

“We decided to build more vertical sites and we used DigitalOcean for the migration to run on our infrastructure. We’ve cut costs tenfold. Everyone is happy.” — Nick Zorin, Co-Founder and CTO of Jiji

Leveraging the power of Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets

Jiji’s digital infrastructure has undergone a considerable transformation over the years. As the company grew and its computational needs increased, the team saw opportunities for performance enhancement.

“Previously, we used Regular CPU-optimized instances, and they worked fine.

But from time to time, we needed additional performance. ” — Nick Zorin, Co-Founder and CTO of Jiji

Nick credits his DevOps team for incorporating Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets into the company’s infrastructure, taking advantage of the consistent performance and higher throughput of these virtual machines. This move towards premium instances was a game changer for Jiji, leading to significant improvements in server response times and enabling the company to deliver a better user experience.

“We see that the response time from our server latency decreases when we use Premium CPU-optimized Droplets. Aside from achieving low latency, the product impacts our backend. They are CPU bound, so it provides lots of additional processing power, which helps us.” — Nick Zorin, Co-Founder and CTO of Jiji

The additional capabilities of these CPU-Optimized Droplets have been worthwhile as they aim to build a better experience for their users, ensuring the performance of each page. The extra processing power unleashed has supercharged Jiji’s backend operations, bolstering their capacity to handle increased load and scale their services in line with the demands of their expanding user base.

“The Droplets that we currently use are really powerful. For example, our Nigerian Postgres server occupies several instances and works very fast.” — Nick Zorin, Co-Founder and CTO of Jiji

Building in Africa for the long-term

Jiji continues to stand out as a premier classified platform across central Africa, collectively projected to encompass a population exceeding 450 million by 2025. Committed to its role as a long-term investor in Africa, Jiji embraces the opportunities ahead in the continent.

“Jiji exists to make life easy for all. We thrive on helping people achieve their personal and commercial goals. That’s why we constantly develop new features for our existing users and expand into new markets. We want to provide more people with a tool for improving their standard of living.” — Nick Zorin, Co-Founder and CTO of Jiji


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