Africa’s Amazon Targets 100 Years of E-Commerce Leadership

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Jumia Technologies AG is focused on building a sustainable business in Africa’s e-commerce space over the next 100 years rather than only pursuing growth, an executive said.

“I don’t think we at Jumia are interested in size. That’s good for ego, but that’s not really useful,” Jumia co-Founder Jeremy Hodara said on Wednesday. “I think what we care about is to last very long as a successful business and to be here in 100 years,” he said.

U.S.-listed Jumia is seen as one of the pioneers in online trading in sub-Saharan Africa, which trails the rest of the world due to challenges including weak internet connections and unreliable addresses. Covid-19 related movement restrictions and improving broadband penetration have spurred competition in the e-commerce space on the continent since last year.

Its payment business, JumiaPay, now accounts for a third of its revenues, according to Hodara. The app, first introduced in 2016, is now used to pay for more than half of transactions on Jumia’s platform. It has started offering loan services to consumers and sellers through partnerships with financial institutions.

Spinning off the payment arm of the business is not in consideration at the moment, but it is a possibility in the future, Hodara said.

Jumia is not looking at expanding immediately beyond the 11 African countries it currently operates, and has no capital-raising plans for now, Hodara said. “Our job is to serve as many people in Nigeria, Kenya and in Ghana as possible,” he said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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