Today, the firm announced it had launched in Ghana and Cameroon and as revamped its Kampala operations, adding to 8, the number of countries its present in Africa namely Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt and Kenya.
In an interview with Reuters, Jumia co-founder Sacha Poignonnec said: “We know we are early. We are coming to markets which are not as mature in terms of Internet penetration and Internet savviness but still there is a big appetite for this service.”
The company also told the paper that Jumia Uganda had been relying on its Kenyan sister for most of its goods but will now have its own. That means a warehouse has been set up locally and stocked with goods and not just offices since its earlier launch.
It’s major competition, Konga in Nigeria has not planned to expand yet mainly because the Nigerian market, with over 170 million people and over 50 million online, is yet to be covered. Meeting needs of shoppers in Nigeria seems to be Konga’s priority but we cannot say the firm doesn’t want to invest as earlier it had said it would take Rocket Internet to court for allegedlly domain squatting. Ironically, both e-commerce firm have roots in the Swiss fund Kinnevik, which backs Rocket Internet and is also an investor in Konga and in Millicom as well. Naspers bought a majority stake in Konga.
Rocket Internet managed to get MTN and Millicom to invest in its operations in the MEA region and using those funds to expand Amazon-like sites across Africa, Asia and the Middle East in their dream to build an Amazon for emerging markets. Both MTN and Millicom have mobile money networks in most of this markets through MTN Mobile Money and Tigo Pesa respectively and this agent network will also help act as offline pick-up points for Jumia; so there’s a huge possibility that Jumia will be a huge success in less than a decade.
Other than Konga, Jumia will take on South Africa’s Takealot which is set to expand across Africa, uAfrica, Amazon.com which will be huge with the launch of PayPal in Nigeria and Alibaba Group’s AliExpress. Other challenges include local payments and logisitics services and inadequate infrastructure.