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Jumia: ‘Africa’s Amazon’ in landmark stock market listing

Shares in Africa’s largest e-commerce firm have debuted on the New York stock market, which could see other tech start-ups on the continent follow suit.

Jumia delivers goods via scooter and offers a variety of payment options (Getty Images)

(BBC News): Jumia is listing 17.6% of the company at $14.50 a share, giving the company “unicorn” status – a technology start-up worth $1bn-plus.

It is the first tech start-up from Africa to float on Wall Street.

The so-called “Africa’s Amazon” has 4 million customers on a continent where just 1% of retail sales are via online.

Jumia was founded in Lagos, Nigeria, by two French entrepreneurs in 2012 and now offers services to most of the African population, in countries such as South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt and Ivory Coast.

Its largest shareholder is MTN, Africa’s biggest telecoms company.

The company said on Friday that the flotation on the New York Stock Exchange would raise $196m (£150m) for shareholders and for future investment. Jumia’s financial advisers had been pitching the shares to investors at between $13-$16 each.

Jumia operates in 14 countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Algeria, Angola, and Senegal. The website sells everything from electronics to clothes, and there is a hotel and flight booking site, and a takeaway food delivery platform. In Kenya, Jumia has teamed up with French supermarket giant Carrefour to offer online deliveries.

The company’s sales jumped by almost 40% last year to $147.3m.

Read the whole story on BBC News