Three sources revealed to Reuters that Rocket Internet, a German start up investor is preparing Jumia, an African online shopping platform for a possible New York listing in the first quarter of 2019. The initiative could value the company at $1 billion.
Citi bank, Morgan Stanley and Berenberg will be coordinating the IPO, but no final decision about the timing or metrics of the deal has been taken. Sources reveal that shares up to $250 million may be sold.
In line with its strategy of selling or listing established internet firms, Rocket Internet, which helped set up Jumia in 2012, is seeking a partial exit from the consumer electronics and fashion retailer. Rocket Internet recently floated online food groups Delivery Hero and Hello Fresh. It also floated online furniture retailer Home24. The company also plans to list Westwing, another furniture retailer in Frankfurt.
Jumia increased the value of goods sold on its site by two thirds to 315 million Euros in the first half of 2018, with year on year growth dampening to 62 percent in Q2 from 71 percent in Q1. The company, which describes itself as Africa’s leading online shopping destination, counted 2.8 million active customers- an increase of 79 percent.
Rocket Internet Chief Executive, Oliver Samwer noted that Jumia’s portfolio consists of commerce, food delivery, payments and logistics. He said “Jumia continues to be on a great track, it is the market leader outside South Africa across the continent. It is more an ecosystem than a company”.
Jumia, which features services such as an online hotel booking and a food delivery platform, runs ecommerce operations in 14 African countries.