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Jumia Becomes First African Start-Up To File For IPO On New York Stock Exchange

Jumia could go public on the New York Stock Exchange next week, making it the first Pan-African e-commerce company based in Nigeria to become listed on it.

Yesterday, 12th March 2019, the start-up filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Jumia was given a 1-billion-dollar valuation back in 2016.

The online retail company offers a range of online goods and has ventured into other businesses like mobile tariff, food delivery, hotels and flight booking.

According to online data, the company had four million active consumers by the end of 2018.

Jumia was founded in 2012 by two French entrepreneurs, Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec, in Lagos. The company has since grown to offers services to most of the African population in over 30 African countries in western and southern Africa.

Jumia is speculated to be valued at $1.5 billion despite reporting a loss of $192 million in 2018. However, in the document filed with the NYSE, it warned that it could not guarantee sustained profitability in the future due to some challenges. One they highlighted was a recent robbery at their Kenyan warehouse where they lost merchandise worth over $500,000.

The most popular goods on Jumia’s e-commerce site include smartphones, washing machines, fashion items, women’s hair care products and televisions.

Other online sales platforms like Dealdey shut down in late 2018, and Konga had to sell out in a distressed acquisition in the same year.

This move by Jumia, however, is bringing more traction of e-commerce investors to the continent. Consumers are projected to spend up to $2.1 trillion by 2025 with Africa making up for up to 10 per cent of the retail sales.

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