Last month, Africa’s largest e-commerce platform filed the paperwork with SEC to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. Yesterday, Jumia went public and the stock closed up 75% at $25.46 per share. Initially the stock was priced at $14.5.
Jumia is the first African tech startup to go public. Although the Jumia markets are in Africa, Jumia born in Europe, helped by Rocket Internet. According to the SEC prospect, Jumia is incorporated in Germany and operations are managed on a decentralized basis at the headquarters in Dubai. The technology and data team is predominantly located in Portugal.
Jumia was founded in 2012 and is a pan-African e-commerce platform. According to Jumia, the platform consists on a marketplace, which connects businesses with consumers, and Jumia’s logistics service, which enables the shipping and delivery of packages, and Jumia’s payment service, which facilitates transactions among participants active on Jumia’s platform.
Jumia generates revenue from commissions, where third-party sellers pay Jumia fees based on the goods and services they sell, and from the sale of goods where Jumia acts directly as a seller.
Jumia says their revenue is, however, not sufficient to cover the operating expenses. Since Jumia was founded in 2012, it was not been profitable on a consolidated basis. Jumia incurred a loss for the year of €165.4 million in 2017 and a loss for the year of €170.4 million in 2018. As of December 31, 2018, Jumia had accumulated losses of €862.0 million.