Electronic commerce platform, Jumia, has linked the listing of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), on the need to showcase the digital innovation happening in Africa, and opportunities from the region in terms of technology and eCommerce to the world.
Jumia, with its headquarters in Nigeria, had last Friday listed its shares on the NYSE, and traded at $14.50 under ticker symbol JMIA. The prospectus, as sighted by The Guardian, showed that Jumia offered 13,500,000 American Depository Shares representing 27,000,000 Ordinary Shares.
In an interaction with journalists in Lagos, yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer, Jumia Nigeria, Juliet Anammah, said the firm contemplated many venues, met with lot of investors, but New York seemed the more natural place given the number of investors familiar with the business model.
Anammah noted that more investors have a marketplace and tech focus in New York than in any other place. "We made a logical choice.This is the largest stock exchange in the world; many technology companies are listed on the NYSE (Alibaba, Twitter, Snap.)," she said.
Explaining the reason for the Initial Public Offering (IPO), Anammah said Jumia has been private for seven years, and the management sees a lot of positive aspects to being public.According to her, the move is about creating more trust and raising the public profile to help with the business, among others raise the public profile to help bring more sellers to Jumia.
The move is expected to help build even more trust with consumers, in particular, those who are still not comfortable with eCommerce, just as the listing will help with talent recruitment, retention, as it aimed to attract more attention from top talent.
She said the IPO is all primary, and about providing the resources to Jumia, and not to selling shareholders.The Jumia CEO explained that Jumia operates in Nigeria and 13 other African countries, and will never go beyond them.She stressed that Jumia has invested heavily in tackling major infrastructure challenges, including investing in logistics, delivery and has also developed a proprietary online payments technology.
"It's also worth noting that though our two CEOs are French, like many companies where CEOs/Founders are of a different nationality, and a small team of key account managers in Dubai (to oversee partner brands whose HQ are in Dubai)." Jumia's management and staff in most countries are largely local, including country heads. We directly employ more than 5,000 people in Africa and believe that our business has a significant indirect impact on job creation across the continent," she stated.
In terms of investors, Anammah said Jumia has international shareholders, like many other companies, and "we are bringing investors to the African tech scene and building the economy and talent there. Though initially funded by German investors in 2012, we got one of our main shareholders (and still do to date) MTN in SA. It is amazing that international investors are bringing positive news to the whole tech scene in Africa and for many more startup companies after us. Now that we are public, any African investor is welcome to invest in Jumia.