Reports confirmed the news via U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documents, and by speaking with CEO Sacha Poignonnec. The company’s valuation, share price and timeline have yet to be determined, but if all goes well, Jumia will be the first African tech startup to list on a major global exchange.
Founded in 2012, Jumia also became the first African unicorn startup in 2016 after a $326 funding round that included Goldman Sachs, AXA and MTN.
While Poignonnec would not reveal a set date for the actual IPO, he did note that the minimum SEC timeline for beginning sales activities is 15 days after submitting the initial documents. The company’s lead advisor on the listing is Morgan Stanley.
In the meantime, Jumia will focus on expanding its business strategy and broadening its reach.
“You’ll see in the prospectus that, last year, Jumia had 4 million consumers in countries that cover the vast majority of Africa. We’re really focused on growing our existing business, leadership position, number of sellers and consumer adoption in those markets,” Poignonnec said.
Jumia currently operates in 14 African countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Egypt. Some of its brands include online takeout service Jumia Food, Jumia Flights for travel bookings and classified services Jumia Deals. Its data shows that the company processed more than 13 million packages last year.
“There are over 81,000 active sellers on our platform. There’s a dedicated sellers page where they can sign up and have access to our payment and delivery network, data and analytic services,” said Jumia Nigeria CEO Juliet Anammah.
Though Jumia has not turned a profit so far, the company generated €93.8 million (nearly $106 million USD) in revenues in 2017, an 11 percent increase from 2016. However, its losses widened, with a negative EBITDA of €120 million. The company’s 2018 results are expected to be released early next month.