E-commerce firm Jumia has floated shares on the New York Stock Exchange with reports suggesting it raised US$196m by selling shares at US$14.50 each. The move, a first for a tech start-up from Africa is a big deal for Jumia which is reported to have 4 million customers on the continent.
Co-MD at Jumia (Ghana); Kayode Adeyinka says millions of dollars was raised in the public offer noting in Ghana after entry in 2014, there has been increased vendors, trust and people who use Jumia’s platform.
He stated the e-commerce firm will extend operations to other regions after having about 80 percent of their operation situated in Accra.
The Jumia Mobile Week where good quality original phones and accessories get sold at highly-reduced prices thanks to partner brands has also caught on well in Ghana.
Jumia was founded in Lagos, Nigeria by two French entrepreneurs in 2012 but now offer services in 14 countries spanning Kenya, Ghana, Algeria, Angola, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt, Ivory Coast with their largest shareholder being MTN, Africa’s biggest telecoms company.
The BBC’s Africa Editor, Larry Madowo submits Jumia is not yet profitable and had accumulated losses of nearly US$1bn since it was founded however the company’s sales jumped by almost 40 percent last year to US$147.3m.
Despite technical and infrastructure hurdles with Africa’s online retail market, Jumia’s biggest coup is its acceptance of mobile money payments across the continent.
Jumia faces keen competition in global logistics provider DHL which has unveiled DHL Africa eShop bringing together more than 200 American and British retailers delivering directly to homes, something Jumia has struggled with.
The Jumia website sells everything from electronics to clothes including hotel and flight bookings as well as takeaway food delivery platform.
The group has MTN, Rocket Internet, Millicom, Orange & Axa as investors. It has been creating a sustainable ecosystem of digital services and infrastructure through online and mobile marketplaces as well as classifieds.
By Michael Eli Dokosi/goldstreetbusiness.com