Jumia has been dubbed the “Amazon of Africa.” It’s Africa’s largest e-commerce operator, surpassing Amazon and China’s Alibaba, and it’s the first African tech start-up to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. Investors had high hopes for Jumia when it went public on April 12. Now, Jumia is adjusting to its new international status, and figuring out what that status means for the African continent.
Jumia is Africa’s largest online retailer. Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, former McKinsey & Company employees, founded the company in 2012. Like Amazon and Alibaba, Jumia allows customers to buy products like cell phones, shoes, and groceries online. Jumia also offers bill paying, food delivery, and cellular data plans.
China Daily, a Chinese state-run news organization, says that Alibaba serviced 4.2 million African customers through its AliExpress services since it entered the continent.
Jumia serviced 4.3 million users and 81,000 active sellers in 14 countries. Amazon is available in 11 countries on the African continent, but neither Amazon nor Alibaba have had the benefit of getting their start in African countries. Jumia, for example, offers unique features like allowing customers to pay for items upon delivery.