Media & Entertainment

The e-commerce boom is still afoot in Africa, Jumia’s earnings indicate


Jumia trucks at warehouse
Image Credits: Jumia

Jumia, the pan-African e-commerce company (and sole tech company based on the continent listed on the NYSE), released its first-quarter financial performance today. The company’s results included consistent growth but lapses in some areas compared with Jumia’s previous quarter. 

As always, the first page of every Jumia report highlights its year-over-year wins. The first quarter of 2022 was no different.

What did the company highlight in its wins section? Compared to the first quarter of 2021, Jumia recorded double-digit growth in orders, GMV and revenue. Orders grew by 40% year-over-year from 6.6 million to 9.3 million. GMV itself jumped by 27% year-over-year from $198.9 million to $252.7 million. And Jumia’s revenue reached $47.6 million, a 44% rise from Q1 2021’s revenue of $33 million. 

According to co-CEOs Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec, Jumia saw its highest GMV, order and revenue growth rates of the past nine quarters in Q1 2022. But these numbers fell well below where the e-commerce giant ended 2021, with the last quarter recording GMV sales of $330 million, $62 million in revenue and 11.3 million orders made. However, it’s unfair to compare any quarter with fourth quarters because they are typically hot with e-commerce activities from holiday festivities and Black Friday events every November.

Shares of Jumia are up sharply this morning, rising some 16% in early trading. That’s despite the company’s sequential-quarter decline in growth, as Jumia’s growth in Q1 2022 — in GMV, orders and revenue — comfortably bested what it recorded last year.

Fast-moving consumer goods or FMCG and food deliveries show the fastest growth among its quarterly active customer base of 3.1 million, up 28% year-over-year.

FMCG was Jumia’s second-largest category for items sold during Q1 2022. However, it was the fastest growing category, posting 180% year-over-year expansion. Jumia said this growth was supported by the momentum of “the grocery sub-category which we are currently developing.” According to a few sources that have spoken with TechCrunch recently, the e-commerce company is piloting a q-commerce or quick-commerce offering in Lagos to deliver groceries to people’s homes in an hour or less.

Food delivery grew 86% year-over-year, while phones and electronics grew 19% year-over-year despite “continued global supply chain volatility for these categories.” 

Other metrics detail Jumia’s growth acceleration. The total payment value (TPV) of its fintech arm, JumiaPay, grew by 36.7% to $70.7 million in the first quarter, primarily supported by solid growth in GMV. Total transactions on JumiaPay reached 3.2 million in Q1 2022, indicating a 32% year-over-year increase. Most of these transactions were from the food delivery category, with JumiaPay completing 34% of the orders on the platform throughout the quarter.

In April, JumiaPay was granted a Payment Service Solution Provider (“PSSP”) license by Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria, to process payments for third-party businesses. The license offers a long-term and compounding growth avenue for JumiaPay. We should keep an eye on this category in succeeding quarters as the platform’s TPVs might reach nine figures by next year (personal projections here). 

The company’s logistics business has faired well too. Last quarter, Q4 2021, the e-commerce platform shipped 3.3 million packages for 996 partners, up from 2.9 million packages for 766 clients the previous quarter. In Q1 2022, the pan-African e-commerce giant reached new highs, shipping over 3.5 million packages for 1,250 clients.

Moving on: Jumia’s losses are not coming down. Last quarter, the company said it planned to spend up to $55 million in sales and advertising in the first half of 2022. So far, it has coughed out $18.8 million this quarter in that category, up 94% year-over-year.

Jumia’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) loss was $53 million in Q1 2022, a 70% year-over-year increase. But it’s a sequential-quarter drop from the $70 million recorded in Q4 2021, a figure co-CEO Poignonnec, on a call with TechCrunch, said the company would ensure it doesn’t surpass going forward. 

The e-commerce company traded at $5.53 per share before its earnings call, a significant drop from the $25 range it traded in on the bourse this time last year. But its share prices fare better now at $6.87 (at the time of writing) as it has shown steady growth in the vital parts of its business in its earnings report. But mounting losses with profitability far in the future, blended with continued share sell-offs of tech companies from Q4 2021 up until now, has contributed to its depressed valuation compared to historical levels. 

From its Q4 2021 financials, Jumia said it finished the year with $512.8 million ($117.1 million of cash and cash equivalents and $395.7 million of term deposits and other financial assets). These figures now stand at $421.2 million, $88.7 million and $332.6 million, respectively, as of March 31, 2022.

More TechCrunch

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

20 hours ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

22 hours ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo

Sony Music Group has sent letters to more than 700 tech companies and music streaming services to warn them not to use its music to train AI without explicit permission.…

Sony Music warns tech companies over ‘unauthorized’ use of its content to train AI

Winston Chi, Butter’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that “most parties, including our investors and us, are making money” from the exit.

GrubMarket buys Butter to give its food distribution tech an AI boost

The investor lawsuit is related to Bolt securing a $30 million personal loan to Ryan Breslow, which was later defaulted on.

Bolt founder Ryan Breslow wants to settle an investor lawsuit by returning $37 million worth of shares

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, launched an enterprise version of the prominent social network in 2015. It always seemed like a stretch for a company built on a consumer…

With the end of Workplace, it’s fair to wonder if Meta was ever serious about the enterprise

X, formerly Twitter, turned TweetDeck into X Pro and pushed it behind a paywall. But there is a new column-based social media tool in town, and it’s from Instagram Threads.…

Meta Threads is testing pinned columns on the web, similar to the old TweetDeck

As part of 2024’s Accessibility Awareness Day, Google is showing off some updates to Android that should be useful to folks with mobility or vision impairments. Project Gameface allows gamers…

Google expands hands-free and eyes-free interfaces on Android