An e-commerce firm based mostly in Nigeria is to change into the primary African start-up to be listed on the New York Inventory Trade.
Jumia may go public within the subsequent month.
The corporate, which was given a $1bn valuation in 2016, gives a spread of on-line items and has branched into meals supply, lodge and flight reserving and cellular tariffs.
It had 4 million lively customers on the finish of 2018.
The net retailer was based in Lagos by two French entrepreneurs in 2012 and now gives providers to a lot of the African inhabitants, in international locations reminiscent of South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt and Ivory Coast.
Its largest shareholder is MTN, Africa’s largest telecoms firm.
No share worth or valuation has been given however there may be hypothesis Jumia could possibly be valued at $1.5bn, although it reported a lack of 170m euros ($192m) in 2018.
In paperwork filed in New York, Jumia warned it couldn’t assure reaching or sustaining profitability sooner or later, citing challenges reminiscent of a theft at its Kenyan warehouse, which noticed merchandise value $560,000 stolen.
Senegalese businesswoman Marieme Jamme welcomed the truth that an African start-up had listed however stated there have been plenty of challenges forward.
“There’s plenty of work to do,” she stated.
“They want the technical infrastructure – as a result of at the moment it’s tough to get a parcel from Senegal to Rwanda.
“There are additionally points round distribution and the provision chain.
“Except somebody invested billions of in it, then I do not understand how they’d beat Amazon or Alibaba.”
Neither of those on-line retail giants have but made inroads within the African market, partly due to the dearth of postal addresses on the continent coupled with the dearth of infrastructure and the truth that most Africans would not have financial institution accounts.
“Alibaba has extra probability of succeeding in Africa as a result of they’re extra used to constructing issues from scratch,” stated Ms Jamme.
African entrepreneur Erik Hersman stated the information was “an essential occasion within the evolution of the African tech scene.”
“Jumia is exhibiting that an IPO [initial public offering] on a significant inventory alternate is feasible,” he added.