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Jumia files for IPO on the New York Stock Exchange

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Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia has filed for an Initial Public Offering on the New York Stock Exchange according to SEC documents.

The valuation, share price and timeline for public stock sales will be determined over the coming weeks for the Nigeria-headquartered company. With a smooth filing process, Jumia will become the first African tech startup to list on a major global exchange.

According to a report in TechCrunch, the CEO of Jumia Sacha Poignonnec would not pinpoint a date for the actual IPO, but noted the minimum SEC timeline for beginning sales activities (such as road shows) is 15 days after submitting first documents. Lead adviser on the listing is Morgan Stanley.

With the imminent IPO capital, Jumia will double down on its current strategy and regional focus.

“You’ll see in the prospectus that last year Jumia had 4 million consumers in countries that cover the vast majority of Africa. We’re really focused on growing our existing business, leadership position, the number of sellers and consumer adoption in those markets,” Poignonnec said.

The pending IPO creates another milestone for Jumia. The venture became the first African startup unicorn in 2016, achieving a $1 billion valuation after a $326 funding round that included Goldman Sachs, AXA and MTN.

Founded in Lagos in 2012 with Rocket Internet backing, Jumia now operates multiple online verticals in 14 African countries, spanning Ghana, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Egypt. Goods and services lines include Jumia Food (an online takeout service), Jumia Flights (for travel bookings) and Jumia Deals (for classifieds). Jumia processed more than 13 million packages in 2018, according to company data.

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Starting in Nigeria, the company created many of the components for its digital sales operations. This includes its JumiaPay payment platform and delivery service of trucks and motorbikes that have become ubiquitous with the Lagos landscape.

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