Jumia files for IPO
5 April 2019
Less than a decade ago IPOs, acquisitions and global expansion by African startups were more possibility than reality. March saw all three from the continent’s tech scene.
Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, per SEC documents and confirmation from chief executive Sacha Poignonnec.
In an updated filing, (since the March 12 original) Jumia indicated it will offer 13,500,000 ADR shares, for an offering price of $13 to $16 per share to trade under the ticker symbol “JMIA.” The IPO could raise up to $216 million for Jumia.
Since our first story (and reflected in the latest SEC docs), Mastercard Europe agreed upfront to buy $50 million in Jumia ordinary shares.
With a smooth filing process, Jumia will become the first African startup to list on a major global exchange. The company is incorporated in Germany, but maintains its headquarters in Nigeria, and operates exclusively in Africa, with 4,000 employees on the continent.
The pending IPO creates another milestone for Jumia. The venture became the first African startup unicorn in 2016, achieving a $1 billion valuation after a funding round that included Goldman Sachs, AXA and MTN.
Founded in Lagos in 2012 with Rocket Internet backing, Jumia now operates multiple online verticals in 14 African countries. Goods and services lines include Jumia Food (an online takeout service), Jumia Flights (for travel bookings) and Jumia Deals (for classifieds). Jumia processed more than 13 million packages in 2018, according to company data. The company has started to generate annual revenues over $100 million, but like many burn-rate startups, has done so while racking up big losses.