African e-commerce firm, Jumia, has listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). This makes Jumia the first African startup to list on world’s largest stock exchange market.

The e-commerce giant started its first day of trading with an opening price of $14.50 under the ticker symbol, JMIA. But at the close of the day, the stock traded at $25.46 per share.

The initial public offering (IPO) of the Lagos-based startup surged more than 75% on its first day of trading at NYSE on Friday 12, April 2019.

Exploring the African Continent

Dubbed ‘Africa’s Amazon’, Jumia currently operates in 14 African countries. The company equally boasts around 81,000 active sellers transacting with millions of consumers online.

Africa’s Largest E-Commerce Firm, Jumia, Storms the New York Stock Exchange Market
Jumia staff in Abidjan

In 2016, Jumia’s parent company, Africa Internet Group, became the first African startup unicorn when it hit the $1 billion valuation mark. In March this year, Jumia also inked a strategic partnership with Mastercard to develop its e-commerce operations.

As of December 31, 2018, Jumia had 4 million active consumers, up from 2.7 million the previous year. It had $148 million in revenue in 2018, up from $106 million in 2017. This was an incredible improvement in the startup’s revenue which is poised to surge even higher as it lists on the NYSE.

According to Jumia, e-commerce in Africa will grow rapidly. This is because the continent is expected to host half the world’s population growth between 2015 and 2050.

Africa’s Largest E-Commerce Firm, Jumia, Storms the New York Stock Exchange Market

Founded in Lagos, Nigeria in 2012, Jumia offers services to most of the African population. With a mission to improve the quality of everyday life in Africa, Jumia leverages technology to deliver innovative, convenient, and affordable online services to consumers. The e-commerce platform further empowers businesses to grow, using its platform to reach and serve consumers across the continent.

Jumia records another milestone

The e-commerce platform sells everything from electronics to clothes. They equally have a hotel and flight booking site, and a takeaway food delivery platform.

This IPO creates another milestone for the company as none of its competitors in Africa have traded on the NYSE. Co-founders and Co-chief executives, Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, said:

“This achievement has been made possible thanks to the hard work of our teams, the trust of our consumers, as well as the commitment of our sellers and partners. All stakeholders deserve credit for this milestone, and we are just at the beginning of a long and great journey. We are going to continue to focus on our mission. We will work even harder to help consumers, sellers, partners, and all stakeholders benefit from this technological revolution.”

Africa’s Largest E-Commerce Firm, Jumia, Storms the New York Stock Exchange Market
New York Stock Exchange figures

Worth noting is the fact that the NYSE, is an American stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street, New York. It is equally the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at US$30.1 trillion as of February 2018.

With a closing figure of $31.91 per American Depository Shares (ADS) on its second day as a publicly traded company, Jumia is now worth $2.4 billion. If its shares continue to improve over time, MTN Group, Jumia’s largest shareholder may eventually sell its stock which results in raising more than the anticipated figures.

Jumia’s listing is a signal to other African startups that a major stock market listing was possible. This is indeed an important event in the evolution of the African tech scene.


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