Jumia Files IPO Papers in New York, Has 4 Million Customers

Jumia Files IPO Papers in New York, Has 4 Million Customers

Jumia has done it: it has filed paperwork at the NYSE to go public. Last week, I wrote that its IPO was “imminent” after it hired an NBA superstar:  “It is very evident that Jumia will like to list in U.S. as early as possible. How? It has brought Andre Iguodala into its Board. Andre plays for Golden State Warriors, an NBA team. I do think with Andre, Jumia will lift its brand in U.S. as it pushes for the journey to IPO, possibly in U.S.”

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange today, per SEC documents and confirmation from CEO Sacha Poignonnec to TechCrunch. 

[…] Poignonnec would not pinpoint a date for the actual IPO, but noted the minimum SEC timeline for beginning sales activities (such as road shows) is 15 days after submitting first documents. Lead adviser on the listing is Morgan Stanley .

“You’ll see in the prospectus that last year Jumia had 4 million consumers in countries that cover the vast majority of Africa. We’re really focused on growing our existing business, leadership position, number of sellers and consumer adoption in those markets,” Poignonnec said.

Jumia was founded in 2012 and has gone through metamorphosis. It has operations in about 14 African countries with services across many digital sectors like food delivery, hotel booking, ecommerce marketplace, etc. Nigeria remains the heart of Jumia business. With only 4 million customers across Africa, the private sector unicorn ($1 billion valuation) it was baptized with few years ago, post-MTN investment, may be a tall call in the public market.

Jumia has not yet turned a profit, but a snapshot of the company’s performance from shareholder Rocket Internet’s latest annual report shows an improving revenue profile. The company generated €93.8 million in revenues in 2017, up 11 percent from 2016, though its losses widened (with a negative EBITDA of €120 million). Rocket Internet is set to release full 2018 results (with updated Jumia figures) April 4, 2019.

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