Jumia has filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
Following submitting of its SEC Documents and confirmation from CEO, Sacha Poignonnec to TechCrunch; the Pan African e-commerce company is on the quest to become the first African tech startup to list on a major global exchange.
Founded in Lagos in 2012 with backing from Rocket Internet, the company operates multiple online verticals in several African countries spanning Ghana, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Egypt etc. After becoming the first African startup unicorn in 2016, achieving a $1 billion valuation following a $326 million funding round; the pending IPO would be another milestone for the country.
More information about the valuation, share price and timeline for public stock sales will be determined in the coming weeks. Although Poignonnec did not give an actual date for the actual IPO, he noted that the minimum SEC timeline for beginning sales activities is 15 days after submitting first documents.
The CEO added that the imminent IPO capital will help the company double down on efforts to expand in the region. “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.
Although Jumia has not yet turned in profits, Rocket Internet’s latest annual reports show 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 in April 2019.
Jumia was founded by French entrepreneurs Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, both 38. They each hold just over 2% of the company’s shares.