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Rocket Internet exists loss-making African e-commerce firm Jumia

Rocket Internet, the German tech investor and company builder has exited Jumia, its Amazon clone for Africa founded in 2012 in Lagos, Nigeria.

Rocket Internet sold its 11% stake in Jumia towards the end of last year according to a report by Reuters. The troubled etailer went public in April 2019 on the New York Stock Exchange Jumia a share price of $14.5, raising the firm $196 million for its retail, food delivery, real estate, logistics, hotel and flight bookings verticals.

After launching its IPO, Citron Research published a report questioning data contained in Jumia’s April 2019 IPO materials versus data contained in an October 2018 confidential presentation. The report accused Jumia of overstating certain financial metrics in the prospectus, and omitting adverse information about the number of returned, undelivered, or cancelled orders from the prospectus. In response, the price of Jumia ADSs significantly fell on May 9, 2019.

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Further losses pegged on fraud and operational infrastructure in Africa led to Jumia’s unattractiveness even though it went ahead to attract a number of investors such as Mastercard and other minor sales of its travel and real estate verticals to various firms across Africa.

Oliver Samwer, founder and CEO of Rocket Internet commented: “2019 has been a successful year for Rocket Internet and many of its companies. The Corona pandemic has introduced a high degree of uncertainty to the development of the global economy this year and will also negatively impact our network of companies in the coming months and quarters.”

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As of March 31, 2020, Rocket Internet had an available net cash position of EUR 2.1 billion. Bettina Curtze, the firm’s head of finance and investments, said the sale was part of the 2.1 billion euros ($2.30 billion) of net cash Rocket Internet had as of March 31.

In September 2019, Rocket Internet reported EUR 32 million of consolidated revenue and a consolidated profit of EUR 548 million in its H1 2019, representing EUR 3.65 earnings per share (EUR 1.84 earnings per share in H1 2018).

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Jumia, listed via ADS on NYSE, grew GMV to EUR 521 million, a 64% increase over H1 2018. In the same period, marketplace revenue grew by 96%. Jumia’s number of active consumers reached 4.8 million at the end of H1 2019, compared to 3.2 million twelve months earlier. As of August 31, 2019, Rocket Internet had an available net cash position of EUR 3.0 billion.

In Q2, Jumia made Operating Losses amounting to €66.7 million, and decided a shift into loans and payments

Rocket Internet reported EUR 67 million of consolidated revenue and a consolidated profit of EUR 280 million in its FY 09, representing EUR 1.90 earnings per share (EUR 1.28 earnings per share in FY 2018).

Rocket Internet now runs its online furniture marketplace Home24 and Global Fashion Group an online fashion and lifestyle destination in growth markets. Global Fashion Group grew group revenue to EUR 1.3 billion in FY 2019, which represents a year on year growth of 17% on a constant currency basis. It active customers reached 13.1 million at the end of FY 2019, a 17% increase compared to a year ago.

Home24, its furniture marketplace, grew revenue to EUR 372 million in FY 2019, a 20% increase versus the prior year on a constant currency basis (19% including foreign currency effects). In Q4 2019, home24 reached adjusted EBITDA break-even for the first time on a group and regional level, thus achieving an important IPO milestone within 18 months after listing.

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