Friday, September 17, 2021

The rise, fall, and rise of Nigeria’s biggest eCommerce site

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If you live in Africa, you’ve probably heard of Jumia. A huge online marketplace serving the continent, it provides fashion, electronics, and a wide range of different accessories. As well as providing an online platform, Jumia also offers logistics and full delivery service. There are some 11,000 active merchants on the site, serving millions of customers.

Today, it’s not just active in Nigeria, but also in Egypt, the Ivory Coast, Kenya, South Africa, and even further afield to Morocco. It typically has around 6 million products listed at any one time and it enjoys more than 15 million visitors each month. In 2016, it became worth more than $1 billion following a successful round of funding with Goldman Sachs.

But, the company has had its fair share of ups and downs and it hasn’t all been plain sailing for one of Nigeria’s most well-known companies.

Its history

In 2012, Jumia was launched by entrepreneurs Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, both of whom were consultants at McKinsey. Another partner in the fledgling business was Raphael Kofi Afaedor. It started in the Nigerian capital of Lagos before spreading to other locations throughout the region including Tanzania, Ghana, and Cameroon.

A year after launching, additional services Jumia Travel (a site similar to booking.com) and Jumia Food (a food delivery service) were also launched. Then in 2017, a payment services app called Jumia One was also launched.

With profits growing at a rate of 265%, in 2019, the country decided to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. This was a huge move for the company as it went up against established, multi-continental competitors like Amazon and eBay.

It was a great example of a success story that started small and grew into something very impressive. In fact, it was the diversification of services that helped cement Jumia’s popularity. In particular, its payment services helped set it apart from much of the competition while increasing convenience for users.

How investors have been involved

Over the years, the stock value of Jumia’s shares has fluctuated rather wildly. Starting with a value of $14.50, its highest point was 12 February 2021 when it broke the $61 point. Initially, its value peaked and then troughed, experiencing around one year of low value, barely scraping above $2 per share in mid-2020. This was due to several scandals, PR disasters, and even lawsuits in foreign courts.

These peaks and troughs have been interesting for investors and traders. Its volatility has made it of particular interest to those looking to trade in CFD stocks. Rather than investing in the underlying asset, trading CFDs simply involves speculating on the rise and fall of share values. For companies that have not yet found stability, this is a viable way of investing and following the fortunes of a company like Jumia.

The future

After taking a couple of years to find its feet on the NYSE, it’s hoped that Jumia will settle and find stability soon. A return to social stability globally and an uptick in economic activity are likely to further boost its performance.

Additionally, other add-on services could help expand the portfolio further, increasing loyalty and customer retention. This could potentially include other apps, expanded payment services, and even the provision of cryptocurrency payments and blockchain operations. This combined with keeping themselves out of the bad press and avoiding scandals should stand them in good stead.

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