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This is hard news: Germany’s Rocket Internet has exited Jumia. Within the window it sold, from Nov 8 2019 to say early February 2020, Jumia’s highest stock value was about $8.50. That is still a huge drop when you consider that the stock rose to $49.77 shortly after IPO before it lost steam. Jumia closed at $2.58 today after losing more than 8% of its value. This sector remains a challenge in Africa, and not an electronic business, as the marginal cost is all physical. The sector challenges are well documented in this seminal Harvard Business Review piece I wrote a few years ago.
German tech investor Rocket Internet RKET.DE said on Thursday it had sold its stake in African ecommerce company Jumia JMIA.N, which has seen its shares steadily fall since they listed last April on Wall Street.
Rocket Internet, which had held an 11% stake in Jumia as of Nov. 8, sold its holding between then and the onset of the coronavirus crisis, Bettina Curtze, the firm’s head of finance and investments, told journalists, declining to be more precise.
Curtze declined to reveal what proceeds Rocket Internet made from the sale, but said they were included in the 2.1 billion euros ($2.30 billion) of net cash the company had as of March 31.
Jumia shares soared when the company became the first African tech stock to list on Wall Street on April 12 but tumbled a month later after Citron Research, run by short-seller Andrew Left, questioned some of its sales figures.
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