The Man Who Ran Jumia’s Truncated Food Business In Rwanda Is Making Jumia’s Loss His Gain
Shortly after the release of its financials for the third quarter of 2019 — which further cast doubt over the company’s near-term profitability — Jumia embarked on some kind of purge.
In the few weeks that followed the release of the Q3 2019 report, Jumia closed shop in Cameroon and Tanzania, trimmed its workforce in Kenya, offloaded Jumia Travel to Travelstart, and announced that it was abandoning its on-demand food delivery business in Rwanda come January 9, 2020.
Well, Jumia Food has since quit Rwanda. And in a week that saw another on-demand mobility startup, CanGo Africa (formerly SafeMotos), also close shop in the country, thereby leaving the Rwandan market wide open, a former Jumia employee who basically ran the show in Rwanda is cashing in on the opportunity.
Albert Munyabugingo, the former Jumia Food Country Manager in Rwanda, has launched Vuba Vuba Africa; a new online food ordering and delivery platform that is nicely filling the gap left by Jumia Food in Kigali.
Munyabugingo has leveraged most of the network and resources Jumia Foods left behind to launch his very similar food ordering and delivery service.
Munyabugingo, who has been with Jumia Food Rwanda since 2014 (first as Operations Manager and then as Country Manager), has the support of a team of staff who worked with him while at Jumia Foods and has also retained about 80 percent of Jumia delivery riders in Kigali. The former Jumia Food Rwanda boss also had a stint at HelloFood Rwanda.
With Jumia Food and CanGo Africa no longer in the picture, Vuba Vuba is looking to make the most of its status as the sole food delivery platform currently operating in Kigali.
Vuba Vuba Africa took the initiative by launching just days before Jumia Food’s departure from the country, essentially sealing up the gap in the delivery market.
The new Kigali-based startup aims to help businesses like restaurants, hotels, supermarkets etc increase their sales as well as increase their marketing efforts through its app.
The startup offers pick-up orders from residents in Kigali as well as delivers food from restaurants, groceries from supermarkets and stationery for homes and offices.
Munyabugingo, who studied at the Adventist University of Central Africa, previously worked at local telco, Tigo Rwanda, before entering the food delivery business via HelloFood Rwanda in 2014.
His new venture, Vuba Vuba, will be looking to hold its own in a market that can be tough to tread even for NYSE-listed tech unicorns.