African e-commerce company of German start – up investor Rocket Internet, Jumia, has filed for a New York initial public offering, which could value the firm at $1.6 billion or more.
Documents by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and confirmation from Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sacha Poignonnec to TechCrunch, attests to this move.
The valuation, share price and timeline for public stock sales will be determined over the coming weeks for the Nigeria-headquartered company. With a smooth filing process, Jumia will become the first African tech startup to list on a major global exchange.
Jumia, founded in 2012 offers online shopping, logistics and payment services, but is losing money. The company says its business is expanding, and the continent’s development will make it a better market, with a growing young population, more infrastructure investments, urbanisation and rapid economic growth.
The New York filing did not say how many shares Jumia would sell, nor at what price. Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Berenberg and RBC Capital Markets are leading the IPO.
Poignonnec would also not pinpoint a date for the actual IPO, but noted the minimum SEC timeline for beginning sales activities (such as road shows) is 15 days after submitting first documents. Lead adviser on the listing is Morgan Stanley.
Until Friday, March 15, there have been numerous press reports on an anticipated Jumia IPO, but none of them confirmed by Jumia executives or an actual SEC, S-1 filing.
Jumia’s move to go public comes as several notable consumer digital sales startups have faltered in Nigeria — Africa’s most populous nation, largest economy and unofficial bellwether for e-commerce startup development on the continent. Konga.com, an early Jumia competitor in the race to wire African online retail, was sold in a distressed acquisition in 2018.
With the imminent IPO capital, Jumia will double down on its current strategy and regional focus.
“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.
The pending IPO creates another milestone for Jumia. The venture became the first African startup unicorn in 2016, achieving a $1 billion valuation after a $326 funding round that included Goldman Sachs, AXA and MTN.
Apart from Rocket Internet, which owned 21.74 percent of Jumia as of the end of December, MTN Group held 31.28 percent. Other, smaller shareholders include Millicom International, AXA Africa Holding and Goldman Sachs.
Located at 11 Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City, the New York Stock Exchange is an American stock exchange and by far, the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at US$30.1 trillion as of February 2018.