JUMIA, a leading e-commerce retailer with operations in Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco and top fashion retailer online in South Africa, has announced securing an investment portfolio from J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
Jumia hinted that the investor would take a stake through a German holding company in an all cash-for-equity investment.
Jumia was launched in spring 2012 and offers a wide range of general merchandise categories such as fashion apparel, shoes, electronics, mobile phones, books, toys, beauty products and many more categories. The company currently operates in Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco, with plan to expand in additional countries in the coming months.
Company was launched with the support of Rocket Internet – the European incubator of Internet start-ups.
Commenting on the investment, Jumia co-founders and joint-CEO’s Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Afaedor said, “This investment is a real turning point for Jumia, and e-commerce in Nigeria.
“With this investment, we will strengthen our current footprint, offering our customers more brands, more categories and more services as well as improving operations; we are among the pioneers of e-commerce in Nigeria and this investment confirms that Nigeria will become a very large market in the very near future.”
According to a statement from Jumia, J.P. Morgan Asset Management Portfolio Manager Robert Cousin, who worked on the deal from New York, confirmed the transaction, saying, “We are excited to partner with Jumia as the companies continue to expand their e-commerce presence in Africa.”
Jumia is a leading online retailer in Nigeria with the widest array of products across categories from men, women and kids fashion through beauty and fragrances to general merchandise (including mobile, baby & toys and home electronics). It is also Nigeria’s largest online book store with some 40,000 book titles, and is the 8th most visited Nigerian website on the internet.
According to the statement, Jumia delivers door to door across all cities, towns and villages in Nigeria. It leverages its own proprietary network of vehicles and motor-bikes in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. It partners with DHL to deliver to other parts of Nigeria.
Afaedor said, “since our launch in June 2012, we are happy to have generated new over 100 new jobs into the Nigerian economy, employing some of the best foreign and locally trained Nigerians.
Where there is a skill shortage, for example, in online marketing, our approach is to bring in a foreign expert, to teach local talent, thereby creating new skills into the economy, and creating a talented and sustainable base of talented Nigerian employees.”
Kehinde claimed that the recent investment by JP Morgan Asset Management was an endorsement of the quality of the Jumia team and strategy as well as the potential of the Nigerian consumer. “The investment will enable us focus on building a world class organisation with a dedicated focus on the best customer experience for the Nigerian consumer”, he stated.