“Amazon of Africa” Jumia poised for $200m IPO

The “Amazon of Africa” has delayed its initial public offering (IPO) onto the New York Stock Exchange by a day, but will still go public this week.

Jumia Technologies, the continent’s largest ecommerce retailer which trades across 14 African countries, is planning to raise around $216 million (£165 million) by selling 13.5 million American Depository Shares at $13 to $16.

Since launching seven years ago, Jumia has amassed four million customers, and saw a 48 per cent growth in users, alongside a 40 per cent rise in revenues to $147.3 million (£112.3 million) in 2018.

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The IPO was originally intended to happen today (Thursday, April 11), however the company has postponed its listing until tomorrow, telling Quartz Africa it “wanted to update the market with some numbers” and give them time to digest them.

This is likely to work in the retailer’s favour, as the taxi behemoth Uber is due to go public today, threatening to drown out any talk about the relatively small tech firm.

Jumia has succeeded in growing in markets where Amazon struggles due to a lack of infrastructure and distribution abilities on the continent.

It has built a network of leased warehouses where its customers can pick up and drop off items bought or sold online, effectively solving the issue of vague addresses in many African cities.

Africa is largely considered an untapped market for ecommerce, with just one per cent of retail sales in Jumia’s current footprint being made online.

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