OLX, a self-styled Craigslist competitor that has gained traction abroad, announced that it’s raised $5 million in a third-round of capital to continue its expansion in 87 countries and 39 languages. It will use the money to improve its site and beef up its marketing efforts (though calling itself “the largest free classifieds site no one’s ever heard of” might not be the best strategy).

It’s likely that New York and Buenos Aires-based OLX will also continue its acquisition strategy. It has already purchased four companies, including similar site Mundoanuncio, and has made a strategic investment in Chinese classified platform Edeng.cn.

While it is clearly based on the same concept as Craigslist, the site has tried to distinguish itself by allowing users to create more colorful, complex listing designs and to display their posts on their social networking profiles on Facebook and MySpace. The company has also forged deals with Friendster and similar third-party sites to integrate even more Web 2.0 capabilities. It already provides greater access via users’ mobile phones — an increasingly vital trait for any successful site in Asia and Africa.

All of these tactics pull in about 50 million unique visitors and 400 page views per month worldwide, and about 2 million new ads are posted on the site every month. These statistics are still dwarfed by Craigslist’s 20 billion page views and 40 million new ads a month — so OLX has a ways to go.

Nexus Capital India provided the recent round of funding, bringing the company’s total capital to $28.5 million since its inception in 2006. It raised $13.5 million in a second round of financing last April from General Catalyst Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Founders Fund and DN Capital. At that time, it only existed in 40 countries and 15 languages. Previously, it closed a $10 million first round in the fall of 2006.

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