The ‘Amazon of Africa’ soars more than 75% on its first day of trading

Jumia co-CEO Sacha Poignonnec, left, applauds as Jumia Nigeria CEO Juliet Anammah, center, rings a ceremonial bell when the company's stock begins trading, on the floor of the completely new York Stock Exchange, Friday, April 12, 2019.

Richard Drew | AP

Jumia co-CEO Sacha Poignonnec, left, applauds as Jumia Nigeria CEO Juliet Anammah, center, rings a ceremonial bell when the company’s stock begins trading, on the floor of the completely new York Stock Exchange, Friday, April 12, 2019.

The largest e-commerce operator in Africa, Jumia Technologies, ended the day with its stock up more than 75.6% on its first day of trading at the completely new York Stock Exchange on Friday.

The stock ended the day trading at $25.46 per share, above the opening cost of $14.50. the item incorporates a market cap of about $3.9 billion.

“The Amazon of Africa” has 4 million active customers as of the fourth quarter of 2018, the company said in its S-1 filing. Jumia operates in 14 African countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco in addition to Egypt.

Jumia, founded in 2012, can be the first African unicorn to go public.

As of December 2018, the company has accumulated losses of nearly $1 billion. Similar to Amazon, its initial shareholders will have to be patient on the path to profitability.

Jumia’s platform lets customers buy a smartphone, a pair of shoes or a load of groceries. Its logistics segment lets you book travel in addition to hotels, in addition to the fast-pay segment lets you pay your bills or order a pizza.

The difficulty for e-commerce in Africa can be for the sellers because of the inefficient infrastructure of the continent, Jumia CEO Sacha Poignonnec told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” on Friday.

“Its provides a lot of inclusion for consumers who have not necessarily the right access to retail,” Poignonnec said.

Poignonnec also said there’s a big opportunity in Africa because so many people haven’t yet experienced online shopping.

“When we ask the people who have never used online shopping yet, the No. 1 reason in which comes out can be, ‘I don’t know how to shop online,'” said Poignonnec. “in which tells you the item’s not about infrastructure, the item’s about consumers getting used to the item.”

Jumia, headquartered in Germany, works with local entrepreneurs in addition to logistics companies to deliver the products. Half the packages are going into the major cities, in addition to half into the secondary cities in addition to rural areas.

Some of Jumia’s biggest customers are Apple, HP in addition to Huawei.