Reports of an initial public offering (IPO) by Jumia, the pan-African conglomerate of e-commerce businesses, have been finally confirmed but details of its financials do not paint a pretty picture.
Jumia has filed to launch its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, documents from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) show. The intended IPO is a landmark first for e-commerce and tech businesses on the continent. It could also mark a possible exit by Rocket Internet, Jumia’s German parent company, divesting its remaining 28% stake in the company.
Specifics on the IPO details, such as timeline of the listing and share price, are expected to be determined in coming weeks. But it is widely expected Jumia will be Africa’s first tech unicorn—a venture funded company valued at more than $1 billion. It will trade under as JMIA on the NYSE.
Jumia’s IPO will be latest in a string of public listings by Rocket Internet-backed companies as furniture retailer Home24 and food startups Hello Fresh and Delivery Hero have all been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in the last two years.
Jumia was founded by French entrepreneurs Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, both 38. They each hold just over 2% of the company’s shares.