Jumia is the leading online shopping platform in Africa with its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. The ecommerce site is the African answer to American giant Amazon Inc, which is the world’s leading online shopping platform. Jumia has grown tremendously since its inception and launch in 2012 to operate in 16 countries and has over 4,000 employees. Confirmed reports indicate that the online retailer will make an IPO on the New York bourse this year (2019) in a bid to raise USD 600 million (approx. KES 60 billion). The firm is now valued at USD 1.5 billion.
Who are the founders of Jumia?
Two French ex McKinsey consultants Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec saw an opportunity in the less exploited African online market. In 2012, they founded and launched Jumia in Nigeria through their company African Internet Group. The company grew to acquire assets and overcame a myriad obstacles to become what it is today.
Among its decorations is its listing as the only African company on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 50 Smartest Companies list in 2017, ranking at position 47.
Countries where Jumia operates
Despite the challenge of much of Africa’s population being unable to access the internet, it is clear Jumia is using this as an advantage as it sees opportunity for possible expansion. This is a reasonable approach given that companies such as Google and Facebook are making great efforts and strides to connect the unconnected populations on the continent. Jumia currently operates in these countries, apart from Nigeria which is among their largest markets:
- South Africa
- Ivory Coast
- Tanzania (now suspended)
- Cameroon (now suspended)
- Rwanda (now suspended)
Who owns Jumia?
The current shareholders of Jumia are:
- African Internet Group (owned by the founders Hodara and Poignonnec)
- Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
- Millicom International Cellular SA
- Orange SA
- MTN (largest shareholder)
- Rocket Internet SE
MTN is said to want to dispose off their shares through the IPO in order to reduce massive debt in its own mother company.
Update: 31 Oct 2020
Since we last wrote this article, a lot has changed at Jumia and we thought it wise to update you on the happenings.
German parent company Rocket Internet sold its 11 percent stake in April 2020 for an undisclosed amount and for unknown reasons.
As of October 2020, MTN Group has sold its 18.9 percent stake in Jumia for a whopping net proceeds of USD 142.31 million. The decision is because the South African telecom is on a restructuring that aims to simplify its portfolio for the next five years.
Jumia offloaded its Jumia Travel portfolio to TravelStart. TravelStart is an online flight-booking platform with major operations in South Africa and Nigeria.
Jumia is also suspending operations in some countries. So far Tanzania, Cameroon and Rwanda have gone through the chopping block.