Orange buys €75m stake in Africa Internet Group
Telecoms operator Orange has acquired a €75m (US$85.5m) equity stake in Africa Internet Group, joining AXA, Goldman Sachs and longstanding investors MTN Group, Millicom and Rocket Internet. Through this investment, which will be accompanied by a series of strategic partnerships between the subsidiaries of the two groups, Orange will help online marketplace Jumia and other websites run by Africa Internet Group to accelerate their growth and seize development opportunities in Africa.
Since Jumia’s creation in Nigeria in 2012, Africa Internet Group has seen significant and continuous growth with ten online consumer businesses operating today in 23 African countries, enabling more than 50000 local and international companies to do business with African consumers. With this strategic investment, Orange now has the capacity to play a leading role in the fast-growing e-commerce market in Africa
Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, founders and co-CEOs of Jumia and Africa Internet Group, commented: “We are thrilled by Orange’s equity investment and are eager to translate our strategic partnership into unique offers for our customers. Jumia and our other online consumer services give millions of African consumers an opportunity to access and transact with local companies in a new and very convenient way. With Orange’s support and expertise, combined with that of our existing long-standing shareholders, we will be able to further improve our service offerings and the customer experience while continuing to invest in our infrastructure.”
Orange claims that the investment underscores its commitment to Africa, a high-growth territory where nearly one in ten inhabitants is an Orange customer, and confirms the Group’s determination to provide the best digital services to its customers.
Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, stated: “We are particularly pleased to announce our entry into the capital of Africa Internet Group. With this strategic investment, Orange now has the capacity to play a leading role in the fast-growing e-commerce market in Africa. This acquisition is combined with the signature of several important partnership agreements that will create value for all parties.”
“In particular, across the twelve countries where we have a common presence, this investment will enable us to significantly develop our ability to market products and services developed by Orange Middle East & Africa over the internet. This operation, initiated by our corporate investment fund Orange Digital Ventures, is fully aligned with our strategic plan, Essentiels2020, particularly with regards to our ambition to reinvent customer service, develop the digital channels and services offered to customers as well as our ambition to develop our activities in Africa and the Middle East,” Richard added.