The online marketplace company described as Africa’s Amazon, filed papers for an initial public offering in New York yesterday.
With its headquarters in Nigeria, Jumia is available in 14 countries throughout the continent and has a reported 4 million active subscribers and it enables subscribers to and sell goods and services including electronics, books, fashion, groceries and more from 50,000 brands across Nigeria and the world.
It also offers customers restaurant food delivery, flight booking and classified advertising services.
“We intend to benefit from the expected growth of e-commerce in Africa through the investments that we have made and the extensive local expertise that we have developed since our founding in 2012.
"Through our operations, we have developed a deep understanding of the economic, technical, geographic and cultural complexities that are unique to Africa, and which vary from country to country. We believe that our deep understanding has enabled us to create solutions that address the needs and preferences of our sellers and consumers in the most comprehensive and efficient way,” Jumia said in the filing.
Founded in 2012 by French entrepreneurs Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, Jumia is the first African start-up to reach a $1 billion valuation with a speculated $1.5 billion when it gets listed.
Details of how many shares Jumia will sell on the New York stock exchange and what price they would go for have not been disclosed, so is the exact date of listing.
In 2018, Jumia’s losses rose to 170.4 million euros, up from 165.4 million euros in 2017.
The company is hoping the listing will help it to raise funds and awareness.
Earlier this month, Jumai enlisted the services of NBA Golden State Warriors player, Andre Iguodala as its brand ambassador and member of the board of director for promoting business development and technology in Africa.
Jumia co-founders Poignonnec and Hodara said: “Andre is a role model to many of us, and we are very proud to have him join Jumia and help us drive the company forward. We appreciate his commitment and passion for the tech industry and for Africa, and we can’t wait to collaborate and accelerate our impact on the continent.’’
‘’Finally, having Andre join our board sends the world the message that Africa has successful companies and great entrepreneurs, and that athletes can play a key role in contributing to their success.”