AFRICAN ONLINE retailer Jumia Technologies AG is preparing to sell shares on the New York stock exchange.
The e-commerce company filed papers for an initial public offering in New York yesterday, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the worldwide web.
Jumia, which is headquartered in Nigeria, has been described as Africa’s Amazon. It’s available in 14 countries throughout the continent and has a reported 4 million active subscribers.
The online marketplace enables consumers to buy electronics, books, fashion, groceries and more from 50,000 brands across Nigeria and the world.
It also offers customers restaurant food delivery, flight booking and classified advertising services.
“We intend to benefit from the expected growth of e-commerce in Africa through the investments that we have made and the extensive local expertise that we have developed since our founding in 2012.
“Through our operations, we have developed a deep understanding of the economic, technical, geographic and cultural complexities that are unique to Africa, and which vary from country to country. We believe that our deep understanding has enabled us to create solutions that address the needs and preferences of our sellers and consumers in the most comprehensive and efficient way,” Jumia said in the filing.
Founded in 2012 by French entrepreneurs Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, Jumia, the first African startup to reach a $1 billion (£760 million) valuation, will become the first African startup to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the BBC reported.
It has been speculated that the company could be valued at $1.5 billion when it is listed.
Details of how many shares Jumia will sell on the New York stock exchange and what price they would sell at have not been disclosed.
An exact date for the stock exchange listing has not been announced.
In 2018, Jumia’s losses rose to 170.4 million euros, up from 165.4 million euros in 2017.
The company is hoping the listing will help it to raise funds and awareness.
Earlier this month, Golden State Warriors’ player Andre Iguodala joined Jumia’s board of directors.
The NBA player is the brand’s ambassador for promoting business development and technology in Africa.
Jumia co-founders Poignonnec and Hodara said: “Andre is a role model to many of us, and we are very proud to have him join Jumia and help us drive the company forward. We appreciate his commitment and passion for the tech industry and for Africa, and we can’t wait to collaborate and accelerate our impact on the continent.
Finally, having Andre join our board sends the world the message that Africa has successful companies and great entrepreneurs, and that athletes can play a key role in contributing to their success.”