In 2016 the world watched as Africa crowned its first tech unicorn – Jumia Group – previously African Internet Group. The Nigerian e-commerce platform has become one of Rocket Internet’s thoroughbred subsidiaries in the last few years growing into a formidable opponent to the likes of Amazon and Alibaba.
Jumia Group has shown incredible traction on the continent with a footprint in 23 African countries, rivalling the reach of its East Asian and American competitors.
As reported, the last couple of years have not been profitable for the e-commerce giant making losses in Kenya of USD 1.94 Bn and USD 1.18 Bn in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Nevertheless, if their recent partnership with smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi is anything to go by then, there is still a great deal of appeal for the e-commerce venture.
Despite their healthy stable of startup investments, Rocket Internet has also experienced a shaky couple of years with several of their startup ventures failing to make the black.
As Rocket Internet SE looks to bolster and solidify its position in East Asia where it competes with powerhouses such as Alibaba, the Berlin-based company is set to sell (as per Reuters) their share in Jumia Group to bolster their financial war chest. This step fits in with their track record of selling their stakes once companies mature. Furthermore, it gives them the flexibility to compete with other investment groups should the opportunity present itself.
Image courtesy: The Guardian Nigeria