Jumia becomes first African firm to list shares on New York Stock Exchange

PAN-African e-commerce platform, Jumia Technologies has officially announced its listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The listing on the NYSE happened yesterday in New York, USA, with shares beginning trading at $14.50 under ticker symbol JMIA.

By the listing, Jumia became the first startup from Africa to list on a major global exchange.

According to the SEC filing, Jumia indicated it is offering 13,500,000 ADR shares, for an opening price spread of $13 to $16 per share, representing 17.6 per cent of all company shares. The IPO could raise up to $216 million for the Internet venture.

Founded in 2012, Jumia started a mission to improve the quality of everyday life in Africa, by leveraging technology to deliver innovative, convenient and affordable online services to consumers. Jumia further empowers businesses to grow, by using its platform to reach and serve consumers across the continent.

Jumia is currently active in Nigeria and 13 African countries with more than 81,000 active sellers transacting online with millions of consumers. The e-commerce platform directly employs more than 5,000 team members in Africa.

The IPO creates another milestone for Jumia. The company became the first African startup unicorn in 2016, achieving a $1 billion valuation after a funding round that included Goldman Sachs, AXA and MTN.

The Guardian checks showed that MTN is the largest shareholder in the eCommerce platform, controlling 29.7 per cent. It is followed by Rocket Internet with 20.6 per cent share; Millicom has 9.6 per cent; AEH New Africa eCommerce has 8.4 per cent and AXA Africa holdings has 5.8 per cent.

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 and to work even harder to help consumers, sellers, partners and all stakeholders benefit from this technological revolution.”

Jumia’s original co-founders included Nigerian tech entrepreneurs Tunde Kehinde and Raphael, but both departed in 2015 to form other startups in fintech and logistics.

Starting in Nigeria, the company created many of the components for its digital sales operations. This includes its JumiaPay payment platform and a delivery service of trucks and motorbikes that have become ubiquitous with the Lagos landscape. Jumia has extended this infrastructure as an e-commerce fulfilment product called Jumia Services.

Meanwhile, sources close to Konga have also revealed that the firm is set for a major listing on either the London Stock Exchange or New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by the last quarter of 2020.

It was gathered that Mark Jessey, a prominent stock analyst on NYSE had hinted of the strong possibility of a Konga IPO before the end of next year, a move which, according to him, is a much sought-after one by investors, many of whom have followed within the last 8 months the huge strides and trajectory of the business which came under new ownership after the exit of previous majority investors, Naspers and AB Kinnevik.

When contacted on the likely listing of Konga, Chris Uwaje, a tech enthusiast and Africa Chair for IEEE World Internet of Things (WIoT), noted that the company has added huge value to the e-commerce landscape which should see its value gross over $3.5 billion.

“Within the last seven months, I am aware that the new owners of Konga have repositioned the company strategically and upped the overall value of the business. Konga could claim to be unarguably the most structured e-Commerce company in Africa, with huge infrastructure and technology back-bone which is rare in Africa and which is the strength of global players such as Amazon and Alibaba,” Uwaje said.

“In valuing Konga, you must consider its strategic 360 degrees Omni-channel strategy, their Central Bank of Nigeria-licensed mini bank – KongaPay which I am sure cannot be valued anything less than $750 million and best in Africa digital logistics division known as Kxpress with a nationwide network. I know Konga is likely the only company that does about ninety per cent of her long haul and last mile deliveries in the continent.

“In today’s investment climate, investors are investing strategically in quality companies that are owned by experienced and well tested local entrepreneurs with global vision and I am sure you know Konga has all these qualities under one roof in addition to over thirty physical retail stores spread all over Nigeria and which also act as delivery, collection and payment centers, so they could ask for more than $5b for their sweat.”

Commenting further, Uwaje stated: “We have also seen the huge investment in massive warehouses across major cities such as Abuja, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers State, Imo, Kano, Delta, just to mention a few, in addition to more than three mega structures in Lagos.

“I am also aware that the company recently spent over N9b in acquiring a very huge warehouse in a high-brow area in Lagos in preparation for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics-driven warehousing.

According to Uwaje, who doubles as the Director General, Delta Innovation Hub, Konga is an African e-Commerce Unicorn whose impressive strategies and achievements within such a short period would be hard to replicate in the Nigerian e-Commerce space.

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