Africa’s first unicorn set to go public next year


Media reports suggest that internet retailer Jumia will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange early next year, with a reported valuation of around USD1 billion. Jumia has local websites in 14 African countries.

It provides a marketplace for other companies to sell everything from apparel and beauty products to consumer electronics and home appliances, as well as payment and logistical services, in addition to food delivery. According to Rocket Internet CEO Oliver Samwer, Jumia “is more of an ecosystem than a company.”

Jumia had 2.8 million active customers at the end of June 2018, up 79% over the previous 12 months. Sales rose by 67% year-on-year, to €315 million, during the first half of 2018 (in constant currency terms, they increased by 89%). Berlin-based Rocket Internet is the largest shareholder in Jumia, with a 28% stake. Other shareholders include MTN, AXA, Goldman Sachs, Orange and CDC.

Rocket Internet, which helped set up the company in 2012, is seeking a partial exit from the consumer electronics and fashion retailer, in line with its strategy of selling or listing established internet firms.

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