The Rise of “Africa’s Amazon”

It all started with the “original” Amazon, which changed e-commerce forever and almost single-handedly introduced the word “platformification” into the popular lexicon. Then came the “Amazon of China,” Alibaba, which successfully integrated digital payments, e-commerce, and fintech to create a world-beating behemoth. Now making waves is “Africa’s Amazon,” Jumia, a digital marketplace with some 80,000 merchants on its platform. The company, based in Nigeria and founded by two French former McKinsey execs, raised more than $200 million from its IPO last week, making it the largest African IPO outside of the energy sector, according to the Financial Times. Alibaba’s success is intertwined with the growth and strength of the Chinese market and economy. Investors in Jumia could be partially betting on the success of Africa as a mass market.