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Ethiopia is experiencing a significant influx of investments in Internet-based companies, with many launching online marketplaces aimed at connecting buyers and sellers across various sectors.

Internet penetration and adoption of smartphones are on the rise. Data costs have become more affordable than in the past, and traditional businesses are embracing digitization.

This digital transformation has surged to such an extent that it has been reported that even thieves are now resorting to selling stolen items on social media platforms like Facebook and Telegram. According to reports, some victims have stumbled upon their stolen possessions being offered for sale on these social networking sites and have successfully reclaimed them.

Here are three digital marketplaces we thought you might know existed.

  1. A marketplace for lost and found items

A new business named Hanel Felagi is dedicated to helping people recover their lost items and return them to their rightful owners.

The company, which was launched a month ago, aims to assist individuals who have misplaced essential documents such as IDs, passports, driver’s licenses, and other critical items. These items could be lost in various places, including banks, religious institutions, and cafes, and the company wants to streamline their return. Hanel Felagi says it is in the business of diligently collecting lost items from these locations and cataloging them on a dedicated website, facilitating their return to their owners.

  1. A Marketplace to Sell and buy social media Pages/channels

Meet Etsomart, an online social media marketplace platform that enables users to buy and sell social media channels and pages including those on YouTube, TikTok, Telegram, and Facebook.

Etsomart states that there are a lot of scams and uncertainties when it comes to selling social media pages, and it’s here to solve them by providing an efficient and secure way for such transactions. 

Currently, there are multiple channels put up for sale on Etsomart with social media accounts, with 100,000 followers being sold for 22,000 birr. Etsomart states that it has seen instances where channels were sold within an hour of being listed on our marketplace. 

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  1. Pet Markets

WhatsApp is king in Africa, but in Ethiopia, Telegram stands as the undisputed champion among instant messaging apps. Telegram serves as a hub in Ethiopia, where accounts can amass over 100,000 followers within a month of their launch. Consequently, numerous marketplaces have sprung up on Telegram, disseminating their messages and products to thousands of followers.

Telegram hosts a variety of marketplaces in Ethiopia, encompassing cosmetics, phones, kitchen items, clothes. Among these telegram-based marketplaces Telegram Pet markets have also gained significant popularity in Ethiopia. Some accounts have accrued up to 30,000 followers, primarily dealing in dog breeds that are rare finds within the country, such as Siberian Huskies, pit bulls, and purebred German Shepherds. The prices for these dogs are notably high, with sellers charging fees as steep as 40,000 birr for certain breeds.

However, these channels don’t limit themselves to dogs alone. It appears that some channels are willing to sell anything they can lay their hands on, including pigeons, turtles, parrots, rabbits, and even monkeys.


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Kaleab Girma, an Addis Ababa-based reporter and researcher, with over six years of experience in the field. He currently serves as Shega's Editor-in-Chief and specializes in reporting on small businesses, innovation, technology, and startups in Ethiopia.