Jumia could be the first African unicorn set for an IPO Rumored listing set for the first quarter of 2019

If Jumia went public, this listing would value Jumia at a whopping $1 billion. A first for Africa. The company is reportedly set for the first quarter of 2019, while it had previously been rumored to be pursuing an initial price offering for late 2018, either in Frankfurt or London. The German-based parent company rocket, which is known for replicating American business models, and fashioning a successful venture in emerging markets wants to take the leap.

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As much as $250 million worth of shares could be sold once the company is listed. Rocket has in the recent past made stock market listings for its companies, and Jumia could just be the next one in line. This year the firm made the best ever debut for one of its startups, a furniture retailer called Home24, which was listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The German start up-scaler is keen on listing the African online shopping platform on the New York stock exchange for a killer valuation.

Take Off

Rocket helped the company take off in 2012 when it was still in the hands of two Nigerian entrepreneurs and ivy league graduates founded the business. Today, the internet group is seeking to exist consumer goods electronics and fashion retail industry. This is in line with their strategy of selling or listing already established internet firms, the likes of Home24. It has also floated online food groups delivery hero and HelloFresh. It has also announced its plans to list Westwing, another furniture retailer in Frankfurt, Germany.

As for Jumia, the company has received year on year growth until it slightly fizzled in the first quarter of 2018. The site has increased the value of goods sold on the site, to 315 million euros, in the first half of 2018 alone. After a low 62pc in the second quarter, it warmed to 79 pc better than the first quarter results of 71pc. The internet company counted 2.8 million active users in the third quarter.

Growing Portfolio

Rocket internet chief executive has referred to the online shopping platform as more of an ecosystem than a company. as Jumia continues to be on a great track, recording increased revenues of 11pc to 94 million euros, it is a great show for the internet investors. Today its portfolio has grown to add food delivery, payment, and logistics, aside from being an online marketplace. It also offers services in hotel booking and travel arrangements within the continent and abroad for travelers.

The firm is currently running in 14 countries, and with a continent of 1.2 billion potential future and present customers. The company has made partnerships with several local vendors, in a region with more than 15 million small and medium-sized businesses and counting. The potential is virtually limitless, as the company continues to grow and make mammoth strides on the African digital space.

Initial Public Offering

The company which has managed to raise $700 million in equity financing is doing well, with rocket owning 28pc of the e-commerce platform. If the company sells all their stock in the NYSE then Rocket internet makes a clean exit from the African based company. The Nigerian born firm still has a bright future on the continent, being the market leader in online shopping and retailing, as it continues to venture into new and lucrative business opportunities such as food delivery to compete with the American, uber eats platform.

In 2017, the company to grow to an enormous 8 million orders, valued at $369 million. The rocket CEO believes the company is a leader outside of South Africa and will continue to rise and maintain its leadership status in the future. The company initially reached its billion-dollar valuation back in 2016, when insurance firm AXA pumped in $83 million for an 8pc stake in the African e-commerce giant. It is only a matter of time before a change comes.

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