Africa’s biggest E-commerce giant Jumia has released its second full year financials. We caught up with the CEO, Kene Okafor to find out what’s ahead for the company.
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LMA TV also has a radio station dubbed the RM, which airs in Abidjan and Lagos. Its radio offerings include a five-minute French newscast and a five-minute “broadcast” that is a la carte, and which features some of the aforementioned RM Show goodies. And while its main office in Abidjan is not open to the public, the channel’s other offices in Lagos and Nairobi have been open to the public since 2007. Among its other highlights is a partnership with over 500 bus owners, most of whom travel daily to work, errands and events. Some of its most interesting partnerships are with Kenyan tech giants like Safaricom and Google.
E-commerce giant Jumia’s second full-year financials
Jumia’s second full-year financials have been released. The Pan-African eCommerce platform grew orders and deliveries by 40% and 35%, respectively, during the fourth quarter. But the company recorded a year-over-year loss of $70 million.
Jumia’s results were hampered by a 20 percent drop in phone sales, a 20 percent rise in operating expenses, and the impact of currency devaluation in Africa. However, the company managed to increase gross profit by 2%, which offset the cost increases.
Jumia plans to invest in sales and marketing, upgrading its logistics capacity, and reducing its packaging. Nevertheless, it expects to make a full-year loss of $200 million to $220 million, according to its report.
Jumia’s business mix was rebalanced in the fourth quarter. While it still has several loss-making quarters to go, the company plans to start bringing losses down over the course of the next two years.
Jumia’s fourth-quarter report showed that the majority of orders are shipped within a day. However, the average delivery time for those orders was 1.6 days. Those delays, coupled with a devaluation of African currencies, have challenged Jumia’s appeal to customers. In the first half of the year, deliveries were up five percent from a year ago, and the company said it expects that growth will continue.
Despite the losses, Jumia increased its customer base by 54 percent to 6.1 million. It is also leveraging technology to drive efficiency and reduce costs.
Startups you should know about
A new YC batch has arrived, and with it come 414 startups from 42 countries, including 18 from Africa. We are talking about fintech. Among them is Nigeria’s first entry into the Top Three in the country rankings. In fact, five of the eight YC cohorts are categorized as fintechs, including one whose eponymous founder is a former Goldman Sachs investment research whiz. This isn’t surprising, as fintech is the biggest recipient of VC dollars in the region.
One of the most interesting is Bloom, a sexy looking financial services startup headquartered in Khartoum. Not only is it a YC backed startup, but it is the first such company in Sudan. As its name implies, it is a scalable solution for the region’s cash constrained middle class. The company’s latest offering is in the form of a digital wallet for Flow residents. If we are to believe the company’s publicity materials, it is set to become the newest neobank in the region.
As you might expect from a fintech startup, the cost of building a fintech product can be steep. However, one company is making it affordable for smaller banks and neobanks to offer fintech services to their customers. Similarly, another fintech startup has a patented technology that will allow Flow users to create a virtual wallet in their digital mobile wallet.