Jumia merges platforms after Sh12.4bn loss

Jumia online shopping website. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Jumia online shopping website. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

E-commerce platform Jumia has shut down its Jumia Market, which brought together individual buyers and sellers, as part of its restructuring after reporting a Sh12.4 billion loss last year.

The retailer said in a statement it had merged Jumia (e-commerce) and Jumia Market in a bid to boost its growth and strengthen the group’s presence in Kenya.

“The integration of Jumia Market platform into Jumia’s e-commerce operations will allow the group to focus its attention on projects with the highest possible return on investment,” said Sam Chappatte, Jumia Kenya’s managing director.

The online retailer, which operates nine products across 23 African countries, saw its total transactions grow 4.3 per cent despite active customers reducing by 100,000 to 1.5 million.

The Kenyan unit is ranked third in revenue in Africa behind Nigeria and Egypt, underlining the fact that online shopping is gaining currency in the country on the back of high Internet penetration.

According to Mr Chappatte, there will be no job losses for Jumia market employees in Kenya as they have been absorbed into different and/or similar roles in Jumia.

“The business model for market (customer-to-customer) may take longer to give return on investment thus the change. Although we could go back to it much later when market is ripe,” he said.

Jumia’s, formerly Africa Internet Group, platforms include Jumia, Jumia Food, Jumia Travel, Jumia Deals, Jumia House, Jumia Jobs and Jumia Car.

The rename was to cash in on the growing popularity of the Jumia Brand name.