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Jumia, Rocket Internet still mum on whether African tech giant will list in US

Featured image: Jumia Group via Facebook
Featured image: Jumia Group via Facebook

Lagos-based ecommerce giant Jumia and one of its main investors Rocket Internet remain mum on whether the tech firm intends to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in New York next year.

This, after a Reuters report two weeks ago which cited three sources saying German venture builder Rocket Internet — which it is understood has a 28% stake in Jumia — was preparing a listing for the first quarter. The article further stated that shares of up to $250-million would likely be sold (a Reuters report in March had it that the company may list in Germany or London).

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Jumia Group head of public relations and communications Abdesslam Benzitouni last Friday (28 September) told Ventureburn that the company “cannot comment on some speculation about IPO”.

Jumia, which just entered into a partnership to launch a flight marketplace, has operations across 14 African countries

It follows an emailed response to Ventureburn last Wednesday, in which Rocket Internet SVP finance and investments Bettina Curtze said the investor “can’t comment on the news”.

Both Benzitouni and Curtze did not comment on what stake Rocket Internet currently has in Jumia.

Jumia, which has operations across 14 countries on the continent, has diversified its services to include a vehicle as well as a property marketplace, food delivery, classifieds and online hotel bookings.

Yesterday (30 September), Kenyan tech publication TechTrendsKE reported that the startup’s travel subsidiary Jumia Travel had partnered with Madrid-based travel tech company Amadeus to launch a flight marketplace.

Jumia, which was founded in 2012, made history in 2016 when it got a valuation of just over $1-billion after it raised $326-million from investors who included US investment bank Goldman Sachs, telco MTN, Rocket Internet and AXA Insurance — effectively making it Africa’s first unicorn.

Featured image: Jumia Group via Facebook

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