Jumia delivery driver

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Jumia delivers items through scooter and provides a wide range of fee choices

Shares in Africa’s largest e-commerce retailer are set to begin buying and selling in New York on Friday in a transfer that would pave the way in which for different tech start-ups from the continent.

Jumia is itemizing as much as 18% of its shares, giving it “unicorn” standing – a expertise start-up value $1bn-plus.

It’s the first tech start-up from Africa to drift in New York.

The so-called “Africa’s Amazon” has four million clients on a continent the place simply 1% of retail gross sales are through on-line.

Jumia was based in Lagos, Nigeria, by two French entrepreneurs in 2012 and now provides companies to a lot of the African inhabitants, in nations reminiscent of South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt and Ivory Coast.

Its largest shareholder is MTN, Africa’s largest telecoms firm.

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Media captionA Jumia Meals buyer orders meals on the app

Friday’s flotation on the New York Inventory Alternate is anticipated to boost greater than $200m (£153m) for shareholders and for future funding. The shares have been priced at between $13-$16 every.

Jumia operates in 14 nations, together with Kenya, Ghana, Algeria, Angola, and Senegal. The web site sells all the pieces from electronics to garments, and there’s a lodge and flight reserving web site, and a takeaway meals supply platform. In Kenya, Jumia has teamed up with French grocery store big Carrefour to supply on-line deliveries.

The variety of Jumia clients jumped 48% final yr.

The BBC’s Africa Editor, Larry Madowo, mentioned that Jumia was not but worthwhile and had gathered losses of almost $1bn because it was based.

Though there are technical and infrastructure hurdles to rising Africa’s on-line retail market, he mentioned a giant promoting level was that Jumia accepted cell cash funds throughout a continent the place few folks have credit score or debit playing cards.

Nonetheless, he mentioned Jumia confronted more durable competitors. “Its preliminary public providing coincides with the launch of a competing app from world logistics supplier DHL permitting customers in 11 African nations to purchase instantly from world retailers.

“The DHL Africa eShop brings collectively greater than 200 American and British retailers and can ship on to houses, one thing Jumia has struggled with.”

Erik Hersman, chief govt of Nairobi-based web and software program agency BRCK, mentioned Jumia’s itemizing despatched an essential sign to different African start-ups main inventory market itemizing was attainable.

“It is an essential occasion within the evolution of the African tech scene,” he informed the BBC final month.