SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
|o||REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|x||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022
|o||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|o||SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
Date of event requiring this shell company report
Commission file number: 001-38863
JUMIA TECHNOLOGIES AG
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)
Federal Republic of Germany
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
Skalitzer Strasse 104
10997 Berlin, Germany
+49 (30) 398 20 34 54
(Address of principal executive offices)
Skalitzer Strasse 104
10997 Berlin, Germany
+49 (30) 398 20 34 54
(Name, Telephone, E-Mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of Each Class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of Each Exchange On Which Registered|
|American Depositary Shares||JMIA||New York Stock Exchange|
|Ordinary Shares, no par value||N/A|
New York Stock Exchange1
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.
201,232,560 ordinary shares, no par value.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes x No o
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Yes o No x
Note—checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:
Large Accelerated Filer x
Accelerated Filer o
Non-accelerated filer o
Emerging Growth Company o
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. x
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b).
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP o
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued
by the International Accounting Standards Board x
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow Item 17 o Item 18 o
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No x
1 Not for trading, but only in connection with the listing on The New York Stock Exchange of American Depository Shares.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
We conduct our business through Jumia Technologies AG, a German stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft) and its subsidiaries. Except where the context otherwise requires or where otherwise indicated, the terms “Jumia,” the “Company,” the “Group,” “we,” “us,” “our,” “our company” and “our business” refer to Jumia Technologies AG together with its consolidated subsidiaries as a consolidated entity.
PRESENTATION OF CERTAIN FINANCIAL AND OTHER INFORMATION
We report under International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (the “IASB”), which differ in certain significant respects from U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”).
Our consolidated financial statements are reported in US dollars, which are denoted “US dollars,” “USD” or “$” throughout this Annual Report on Form 20-F (“Annual Report”).
Financial information in thousands or millions, and percentage figures have been rounded. Rounded total and sub-total figures in tables may differ marginally from unrounded figures indicated elsewhere in this Annual Report or in the consolidated financial statements. Moreover, rounded individual figures and percentages may not produce the exact arithmetic totals and sub-totals indicated elsewhere in this Annual Report.
MARKET AND INDUSTRY DATA
We obtained the industry, market and competitive position data from our own internal estimates, surveys, and research as well as from publicly available information, industry and general publications and research, surveys and studies conducted by third parties, including, but not limited to, the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”), the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”), the Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”), Statista, GSMA, Ovum, Internet World Statistics, the Alliance for Affordable Internet, Brookings Institution, IDC, the United Nations, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. None of the independent industry publications used in this Annual Report were prepared on our behalf.
Industry publications, research, surveys, studies and forecasts generally state that the information they contain has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but that the accuracy and completeness of such information is not guaranteed. Forecasts and other forward-looking information obtained from these sources are subject to the same qualifications and uncertainties as the other forward-looking statements in this Annual Report. These forecasts and forward-looking information are subject to uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described under Item 3. “Key Information—D. Risk Factors.” These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in our forecasts or estimates or those of independent third parties.
TRADEMARKS, SERVICE MARKS AND TRADENAMES
We have proprietary rights to trademarks used in this Annual Report that are important to our business, many of which are registered under applicable intellectual property laws. Solely for convenience, the trademarks, service marks, logos and trade names referred to are without the ® and ™ symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the rights of the applicable licensors to these trademarks, service marks and trade names.
This Annual Report contains additional trademarks, service marks and trade names of others, which are the property of their respective owners. All trademarks, service marks and trade names appearing in this Annual Report are, to our knowledge, the property of their respective owners. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trademarks, service marks, copyrights or trade names to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other companies.
INFORMATION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report contains forward-looking statements that relate to our current expectations and views of future events. These statements relate to events that involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including those listed under Item 3. “Key Information—D. Risk Factors,” which may cause our actual results, performance
or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
In some cases, these forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “expect,” “estimate,” “could,” “should,” “anticipate,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” “is/are likely to” or other similar expressions. Forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report include, but are not limited to, statements about:
•our future business and financial performance, including our revenue, operating expenses and our ability to achieve or maintain profitability and our future business and operating results;
•our strategies, plan, objectives and goals; and
•our expectations regarding the development of our industry, internet penetration, market size and the competitive environment in which we operate.
These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, some of which are beyond our control. In addition, these forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are not a guarantee of future performance. Actual outcomes may differ materially from the information contained in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including, without limitation, the risk factors described under “Risk Factor Summary” below and the risk factors described in Item 3. “Key Information—D. Risk Factors” of this Annual Report.
The forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report relate only to events or information as of the date on which the statements are made in this Annual Report. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should read this Annual Report and the documents that we have filed as exhibits to this Annual Report completely and with the understanding that our actual future results or performance may be materially different from what we expect.
RISK FACTOR SUMMARY
Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described in Item 3. “Key Information—D. Risk Factors.” You should carefully consider these risks and uncertainties when investing in our securities. Principal risks and uncertainties affecting our business include the following:
•we have incurred significant losses since inception and there is no guarantee that we will achieve or sustain profitability in the future;
•we rely on external financing and may not be able to raise necessary additional capital on economically acceptable terms or at all;
•our markets pose significant operational challenges that require us to expend substantial financial resources;
•we face risks related to health epidemics and other outbreaks such as COVID-19, which could significantly disrupt our supply chain and our operations, and could negatively affect our development;
•many of our countries of operation are, or have been, characterized by political instability or changes in regulatory or other government policies;
•our business may be materially and adversely affected by an economic slowdown in any region of Africa;
•currency volatility and inflation may materially adversely affect our business;
•uncertainties with respect to the legal system in certain African markets could adversely affect us;
•if our operation of JumiaPay were found to be in violation of applicable laws or regulations, or if JumiaPay is found to be engaged in an unauthorized banking or financial business, we could be subject to fines or other sanctions, forced to cease doing business in certain countries, or forced to change our business practices;
•our business may be materially and adversely affected by violent crime or terrorism in any region of Africa;
•growth of our business depends on an increase in internet penetration in Africa and other external factors, some of which are beyond our control;
•we face competition, which may intensify;
•we may be unable to adapt to changes in our industry or successfully launch and monetize new and innovative technologies, as a result of which our growth and profitability could be adversely affected;
•we may not be able to maintain our existing partnerships, strategic alliances or other business relationships or enter into new ones. We may have limited control over such relationships, and these relationships may not provide the anticipated benefits;
•we may fail to maintain or grow the size of our consumer base or the level of engagement of our consumers;
•sellers set their own prices and decide which goods they make available on our marketplace, which could affect our ability to respond to consumer preferences and trends;
•we use third-party carriers as part of our fulfillment process, giving us limited control over the fulfillment process and exposing us to challenges should we need to replace carriers;
•we may experience malfunctions or disruptions of our technology systems;
•we may experience security breaches and disruptions due to hacking, viruses, fraud, malicious attacks and other circumstances;
•we conduct a substantial amount of our business in foreign currencies, which heightens our exposure to the risk of exchange rate fluctuations.
Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Item 3. Key Information
B. Capitalization and Indebtedness
C. Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
D. Risk Factors
The following risks may have material adverse effects on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Additional risks and uncertainties of which we are not presently aware or that we currently deem immaterial could also materially affect our business operations and financial condition.
Risks Related to Our Business, Operations and Financial Position
We have incurred significant losses since inception and there is no guarantee that we will achieve or sustain profitability in the future.
Jumia operates a pan-African e-commerce platform. Our platform primarily consists of our marketplace, which connects businesses with consumers, our logistics service, which enables the shipping and delivery of packages, and our payment service, JumiaPay, which, together with its network of licensed payment service providers and other partners, facilitates transactions among participants active on our platform. We primarily generate revenue from commissions, where third-party sellers pay us fees based on the goods and services they sell, and from the sale of goods where we act directly as seller. Our revenue is, however, not sufficient to cover our operating expenses. Accordingly, since we were founded in 2012, we have not been profitable on a consolidated basis. We incurred a loss for the year of $183.7 million in 2020 and a loss for the year of $226.9 million in 2021 and a loss for the year of $238.3 million in 2022. As of December 31, 2022, we had accumulated losses of $2.0 billion.
There is no guarantee that we will generate sufficient revenue in the future to offset the cost of maintaining our platform and maintaining and growing our business. Furthermore, even if we achieve profitability in certain of our more mature markets, where e-commerce is growing rapidly, there is no guarantee that we will be able to break even and achieve profitability in other markets, where e-commerce adoption is slower. Our operating expenses may continue to increase as we intend to expend substantial financial and other resources on acquiring and retaining sellers and consumers, growing and maintaining our technology infrastructure and sales and marketing efforts and conducting general administrative tasks associated with our business, including expenses related to being a public company. These investments may not result in increased revenue growth. If we cannot successfully generate revenue at a rate that exceeds the costs associated with our business, we will not be able to achieve or sustain profitability or generate positive cash flow on a sustained basis and our revenue growth rate may decline.
If we fail to become and remain profitable, this could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We rely on external financing and may not be able to raise necessary additional capital on economically acceptable terms or at all.
Since our inception, we have had negative operating cash flows and have relied on external financing. While we received net proceeds of $280.2 million from our April 2019 initial public offering, a concurrent private placement with Mastercard Europe SA (“Mastercard”) and the issuance of shares to existing shareholders to protect them from dilution, net proceeds of $231.4 million from our December 2020 equity offering, and net proceeds of $341.0 million from our March 2021 equity offering, we may require additional capital to finance our operations and/or growth of our platform in the future. If we are not able to raise the required capital on economically acceptable terms, or at all, or if we fail to project and anticipate our capital needs, we may be forced to limit or scale back our operations, which may adversely affect our growth, business and market share and could ultimately lead to insolvency.
If we choose to raise capital by issuing new shares, our ability to place such shares at attractive prices, or at all, depends on the condition of equity capital markets in general, the performance of our business and the price of our ADSs in particular, and the price of our ADSs may be subject to considerable fluctuation.
Currently, debt financing from independent third parties is unlikely to be available to us due to our loss making history, negative operating cash flows and lack of significant physical assets and collateral. If debt financing were available, such financing may require us to post collateral in favor of the relevant lenders or impose other restrictions on our business and financial position. Such restrictions may adversely affect our operations and ability to grow our business as intended. A breach of the relevant covenants or other contractual obligations contained in any of our current or future external financing agreements may trigger immediate prepayment obligations or may allow the relevant lenders to seize collateral posted by us, all of which may adversely affect our business. In addition, if we raise capital through debt financing on unfavorable terms, this could adversely affect our operational flexibility and profitability.
An inability to obtain capital on economically acceptable terms, or at all, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our markets pose significant operational challenges that require us to expend substantial financial resources.
We operate in emerging markets in Africa. While we believe that our markets offer opportunities for an e-commerce company, they are also characterized by fragmented and largely underdeveloped logistics, delivery, and digital payment landscapes, which can differ significantly in the consumer markets in which we operate. This underdeveloped infrastructure restricts and complicates the movement of people and goods, which may make our delivery service too expensive or our delivery times too long to effectively compete with offline stores, in particular outside of main urban centers. Underdeveloped infrastructure may also limit our growth prospects by obstructing access to potential consumers. Lack of an established, secure and convenient cashless payment system in many markets also poses significant challenges for sellers. From our experience, we believe that a large percentage of our consumers either do not have a bank account or do not trust online payments, which is why cash on delivery is still a payment method used by many of our consumers.
In order to overcome the challenges posed by our markets, we have had to develop significant logistics, delivery and payment infrastructures, which include, for example, the operation of warehouses and drop-off centers, the integration of third-party logistics providers, the establishment of our own delivery and last-mile delivery fleet in certain cities, the design of our independent technology platform and the provision of unconventional payment options. These factors make our operations more complex than those of similar businesses in more developed markets and may place a higher risk on us, for example, due to a higher number of failed orders, the risk of fraud, increased regulatory risk or otherwise. The costs incurred by us to meet these challenges have, and may continue to, put a strain on our financial resources, may be unjustified in light of the benefits they bring us and may make it challenging for us to reach profitability. In particular, there is no guarantee that the markets in which we currently operate will prove to be as attractive as we currently believe them to be. The materialization of any of these risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We face risks related to health epidemics and other outbreaks such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which could significantly disrupt our supply chain, disrupt our operations and negatively affect our development.
Our business could be adversely impacted by health epidemics and other outbreaks such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly negatively impacted our business in many ways:
•As part of our cross-border business, we facilitate orders into Africa from international sellers. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted, and may continue to disrupt, the operations of these international sellers. For example, some of these sellers have been forced to temporarily halt production, close their offices or suspend their services.
•Many of our local sellers depend on imported products. The reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic have posed challenges for our sellers to source products and raw materials.
•Certain of our sellers and restaurant vendors on our platform have been forced to reduce their hours of operations or shut down for periods of time and some have gone out of business.
•The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted consumer sentiment in many of our countries of operation, which has led to a reduction in discretionary spending.
•We may incur increased operating costs as we adapt to new demands of operating during the term of the pandemic and we may experience disruptions to our operations including to implement enhanced employee safety procedures.
•Forced or voluntary shut downs of business operations, or other intervention in our business by police and government authorities, in any of the geographies in which we have operations may negatively affect our ability to do business, operate our fulfilment centers, serve our customers and fulfill our administrative tasks.
As a result, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have adversely affected, and may continue to adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Many of our countries of operation are, or have been, characterized by political instability or changes in regulatory or other government policies.
Frequent and intense periods of political instability make it difficult to predict future trends in governmental policies. For example, in periods of intense political turmoil, governments in certain of our markets have restricted access to the internet. Any similar shut-down in the future will negatively affect our business and results of operations. In addition, if government or regulatory policies in a market in which we operate were to change or become less business-friendly, our business could be adversely affected.
Governments in Africa frequently intervene in the economies of their respective countries and occasionally make significant changes in policy and regulations. Governmental actions have often involved, among other measures, nationalizations and expropriations, price controls, currency devaluations, mandatory increases on wages and employee benefits, capital controls and limits on imports. Our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by changes in government policies or regulations, including such factors as exchange rates and exchange control policies, inflation control policies, price control policies, consumer protection policies, import duties and restrictions, liquidity of domestic capital and lending markets, electricity rationing, tax policies, including tax increases and retroactive tax claims, and other political, diplomatic, social and economic developments in or affecting the countries where we operate. For example, the Central Bank of Nigeria requires foreign investors to obtain a certificate of capital importation (“CCI”) to be able to repatriate imported funds and related proceeds via the Nigerian foreign exchange market. Jumia has transferred about $154.9 million into Nigeria as of December 31, 2022. While Jumia has obtained valid CCIs for approximately $100.0 million, Jumia currently does not hold CCIs for the remaining amount. While the company does not have an immediate need to repatriate funds from Nigeria, Jumia has started working with licensed operators and on the restructuring of the financing of its operations in Nigeria in order to allow Jumia to repatriate these funds and related proceeds. However, there can be no assurance that Jumia will be successful in this endeavor. Any failure could impact Jumia’s ability to repatriate these funds and related proceeds or the exchange rate at which a repatriation could be affected.
In the future, the level of intervention by African governments may continue to increase. These or other measures could have a material adverse effect on the economy of the countries in which we operate and, consequently, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our business may be materially and adversely affected by an economic slowdown in any region of Africa.
The success of our business depends on consumer spending. While we believe that economic conditions in Africa will improve, poverty in Africa will decline and the purchasing power of African consumers will increase in the long term, there can be no assurance that these expected developments will actually materialize. The development of African economies, markets and levels of consumer spending are influenced by many factors beyond our control, including consumer perception of current and future economic conditions, political uncertainty, employment levels, inflation or deflation, real disposable income, poverty rates, wealth distribution, interest rates, taxation, currency exchange rates, weather conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic. As our operations in Nigeria and Egypt generate a larger portion of our orders and revenue than any other country in which we currently operate, adverse economic developments in Nigeria or Egypt could have a greater impact on our results than a similar downturn in other countries.
Furthermore, in some of the countries in which we operate, local banks have faced liquidity and funding issues and may face such issues in the future, which could lead to bank failures or systemic collapse, which in turn could result in an economic slowdown in the particular region.
An economic downturn, whether actual or perceived, currency volatility, a decrease in economic growth rates or an otherwise uncertain economic outlook in Nigeria, Egypt or any region of Africa could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Currency volatility and inflation may materially adversely affect our business.
Third-party sellers and consumers transact on our marketplace in local currency. The economies of a number of the African countries in which we operate are affected by high currency exchange rate volatility due to, among other things, inflation, selective tariff barriers, raw material prices, current account balances and widespread corruption and political uncertainty. In particular, inflation indicators reached multi-decade highs across a number of our countries at the end of 2022, with core consumer price index (“CPI”) year-over-year increases in December 2022 of 54% in Ghana, 21% in Nigeria and 13% in Egypt, according to IMF data. Inflation levels are expected to remain elevated throughout 2023. Higher inflation rates are putting significant pressure on consumer sentiment and spending power, while affecting our sellers’ ability to import and source goods. Challenges on both the supply and demand fronts negatively affected the performance of our usage indicators, GMV, Orders and Quarterly Active Consumers, in the fourth quarter of 2022. In addition, the inflationary pressure and currency devaluations are further exacerbated by the Ukraine and Russia war with notable exposures in a number of African countries such as Egypt that are dependent on the agricultural product imports from Russia and/or Ukraine.
Currency volatility and high inflation in any of the countries in which we operate could increase the cost of goods to our third-party sellers while decreasing the purchasing power of our consumers. If sellers are unable to pass along price increases to consumers, we could lose sellers from our marketplace. Similarly, if consumers are unwilling to pay higher prices, we could lose consumers.
The occurrence of any of these risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Uncertainties with respect to the legal system in certain African markets could adversely affect us.
Legal systems in Africa vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Many countries in Africa have not yet developed a fully integrated legal system, and recently enacted laws and regulations may not sufficiently cover all aspects of economic activities in such markets. In particular, the interpretation and enforcement of these laws and regulations involve uncertainties. Since local administrative and court authorities have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory provisions and contractual terms, it may be difficult to predict the outcome of administrative and court proceedings and our level of legal protection in many of our markets. Moreover, local courts may have broad discretion to reject enforcement of foreign awards. These uncertainties may affect our ability to enforce our contractual rights or other claims. Uncertainty regarding inconsistent regulatory and legal systems may also embolden plaintiffs to
exploit such uncertainties through unmerited or frivolous legal actions or threats in attempts to extract payments or benefits from us.
Many African legal systems are based in part on government policies and internal rules, some of which are not published on a timely basis, or at all, and may have retroactive effect. There are other circumstances where key regulatory definitions are unclear, imprecise, or missing, or where interpretations that are adopted by regulators are inconsistent with interpretations adopted by a court in analogous cases. As a result, we may not be aware of our violation of certain policies and rules until after the violation. In addition, any administrative and court proceedings in Africa may be protracted, resulting in substantial costs and the diversion of resources and management attention.
It is possible that a number of laws and regulations may be adopted or construed to apply to us in Africa and elsewhere that could restrict our business. Scrutiny and regulation of the industries in which we operate may further increase, and we may be required to devote additional legal and other resources to addressing such regulation. Changes in current laws or regulations or the imposition of new laws and regulations in our markets or elsewhere regarding e-commerce may slow our growth and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and prospects.
Our business may be materially and adversely affected by violent crime or terrorism in any region of Africa.
Many of the markets in which we operate suffer from a high incidence in violent crime and terrorism, which may harm our business. Violent crime has the potential to interfere with our delivery and fulfillment operations, in particular, given the fact that a high proportion of transactions on our marketplace are settled in cash. Our warehouses may also be targets of criminal acts.
Further, the terrorist attacks of Boko Haram have created considerable economic instability in northeastern Nigeria for nearly a decade. Although it is difficult to quantify the economic effect of Boko Haram’s terrorist activities, countless markets, shops, and schools have been temporarily or permanently closed over the years out of fear of coordinated attacks. In some of the areas most devastated by terrorism, commercial banks have chosen to remain open for only three hours per day. Many Nigerians have also chosen to migrate from the north to the south, or out of the country altogether. If Boko Haram’s terrorist activities were to spread throughout Nigeria, the increasing violence could have material adverse effects on the Nigerian economy. An increase in violent crime or terrorism in any region of Africa may interfere with deliveries, discourage economic activity, weaken consumer confidence, diminish consumer purchasing power or cause harm to our sellers and consumers in other ways, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and prospects.
Growth of our business depends on an increase in internet penetration in Africa and other external factors, some of which are beyond our control.
Our business model relies on an increase in internet penetration and digital literacy in Africa. Even though the main urban centers of Africa typically offer reliable wired internet service, a substantial portion of the population are inhabitants of rural areas, which largely depend on mobile networks. Internet penetration in the markets in which we operate may not reach the levels seen in more developed countries for reasons that are beyond our control, including the lack of necessary network infrastructure or delayed implementation of performance improvements or security measures. The internet infrastructure in the markets in which we operate may not be able to support growth in the number of users, their frequency of use or their bandwidth requirements. Delays in telecommunication and infrastructure development or other technology shortfalls may also impede improvements in internet reliability. If telecommunications services are not sufficiently available to support the growth of the internet, response times could be slower, which would reduce internet usage and harm our platform. Internet penetration may decline if providers become insolvent or decide to exit a specific country. The price of personal computers, mobile devices and internet access, particularly with respect to mobile data rates, may also limit the growth of internet penetration in the markets in which we operate. Accordingly, there is no guarantee that internet penetration rates, and in particular, mobile internet penetration rates, will continue to grow as we anticipate. Internet penetration in our target markets may even stagnate or decline. Digital illiteracy among many consumers and vendors in Africa presents obstacles to e-commerce growth.
If internet penetration and digital literacy do not increase in our markets of operation, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
The continued growth of our business and e-commerce will depend on a number of other factors, some of which are beyond our control, including, the trust and confidence level of e-commerce sellers and consumers, changes in demographics and consumer tastes and preferences. Even if internet penetration rates increase, physical retail or face-to-face transactions may remain the predominant form of commerce in our markets due to, among other factors, a lack of trust and confidence in e-commerce offerings. There is no guarantee that consumers will adapt to the use of the internet for consumer transactions on the scale we anticipate.
A failure of e-commerce to continue to grow as we anticipate in the markets in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We face competition, which may intensify.
As the e-commerce business model is relatively new in the markets in which we operate, competition for market share may intensify significantly. Current competitors, such as Amazon and noon in Egypt, Konga in Nigeria or Takealot and Superbalist, which are both part of the Naspers group, in South Africa, may seek to intensify their investments in those markets and also expand their businesses in new markets. We also face competition for on-demand services from companies such as Glovo, UberEats and Bolt Food, while in digital services we face competition from companies such as OPay and PalmPay. Some of our competitors currently copy our marketing campaigns, and such competitors may undertake more far-reaching marketing events or adopt more aggressive pricing policies, all of which could adversely impact our competitive position. We also compete with a large and fragmented group of offline retailers, such as traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and market traders, in each of the markets in which we operate. In addition, new competitors may emerge, or global e-commerce companies, such as Amazon, Asos, Alibaba or Shein, which already offer shipping services to certain African countries for a selection of products, may expand across our markets, and such competitors may have greater access to financial, technological and marketing resources than we do. We also face competition from transactions taking place through other platforms, including via social media sites such as Instagram or Facebook.
Competitive pressure from current or future competitors or our failure to quickly and effectively adapt to a changing competitive landscape could adversely affect demand for the goods available on our marketplace and could thereby adversely affect our growth. Given the early stage of the e-commerce industry in the markets in which we operate, the share of goods sold and purchased via e-commerce may be small and loyalty of sellers and consumers may therefore be low. Current or future competitors may offer lower commissions to sellers than we do, and we may be forced to lower commissions in order to maintain our market share.
With respect to JumiaPay, we face competition from financial institutions with payment processing offerings, credit, debit and prepaid card service providers, other offline payment options and other electronic payment system operators, in each of the markets in which we operate. We expect competition to intensify in the future as existing and new competitors may introduce new services or enhance existing services.
If we fail to compete effectively, we may lose existing sellers or consumers and fail to attract new sellers or consumers, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
If we are unable to adapt to changes in our industry or successfully launch and monetize new and innovative technologies, our growth and profitability could be adversely affected.
The internet and e-commerce industry is characterized by rapidly changing technology, evolving industry standards, new product and service introductions and changing consumer demand. Despite our investment of significant resources in developing our infrastructure, such as our logistics service, changes and developments in our industry may require us to re-evaluate our business model and significantly modify our long-term strategies and business plan.
We constantly seek to develop new and innovative technologies. Our ability to monetize these technologies and other new business lines in a timely manner and operate them profitably depends on a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:
•our ability to manage the financial and operational aspects of developing and launching new technologies, including making appropriate investments in our software systems, information technologies and operational infrastructure;
•our ability to secure required governmental permits and approvals and implement appropriate compliance procedures;
•the level of commitment and interest from our current and potential third-party innovators;
•our competitors developing and implementing similar or better technology;
•our ability to effectively manage any third-party challenges to the intellectual property behind our technology;
•our ability to collect, combine and leverage data about our consumers collected online and through our new technology in compliance with data protection laws; and
•general economic and business conditions affecting consumer confidence and spending and the overall strength of our business.
We may not be able to grow our new technologies or operate them profitably, and these new and innovative technology initiatives may never generate material revenue. In addition, our technology development requires substantial management time and resources, which may result in disruptions to our existing business operations and adversely affect our financial condition, which may decrease our profitability and growth.
We may not be able to maintain our existing partnerships, strategic alliances or other business relationships or enter into new ones. We may have limited control over such relationships, and these relationships may not provide the anticipated benefits.
We partner with numerous third parties. For example, more than 700 logistics providers are integrated into our logistics service and help us and our sellers deliver goods to consumers. Additionally, we may enter into new strategic relationships in the future. Such relationships involve risks, including but not limited to: maintaining good working relationships with the other party, any economic or business interests of the other party that are inconsistent with ours, the other party’s failure to fund its share of capital for operations or to fulfill its other commitments, including providing accurate and timely accounting and financial information to us, which could negatively impact our operating results, loss of key personnel, actions taken by our strategic partners that may not be compliant with applicable rules, regulations and laws, including licensing requirements, reputational concerns regarding our partners or our leadership that may be imputed to us, bankruptcy, requiring us to assume all risks and capital requirements related to the relationship, and the related bankruptcy proceedings could have an adverse impact on the relationship, and any actions arising out of the relationship that may result in reputational harm or legal exposure to us. Further, these relationships may not deliver the benefits that were originally anticipated.
Any of these factors may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may fail to maintain or grow the size of our consumer base or the level of engagement of our consumers.
The size and engagement level of our consumer base are critical to our success. Our business and financial performance have been and will continue to be significantly determined by our success in adding, retaining, and engaging Quarterly Active Consumers. We continue to invest significant resources to grow our consumer base and increase participant engagement, whether through innovation, providing new or improved goods or services, marketing efforts or other means. We cannot assure that our consumer base and engagement levels will continue growing at satisfactory rates, or at all. Our consumer growth and engagement could be adversely affected if, among other things:
•we are unable to maintain the quality of our existing goods and services;
•we are unsuccessful in innovating or introducing new goods and services;
•we fail to adapt to changes in participant preferences, market trends or advancements in technology;
•technical or other problems prevent us from delivering our goods or services in a timely and reliable manner or otherwise affect the participant experience;
•there are participant concerns related to privacy, safety, security or reputational factors;
•there are adverse changes to our platform that are mandated by, or that we elect to make in response to, legislation, regulation, or litigation, including settlements or consent decrees;
•we fail to maintain the brand image of our platform or our reputation is damaged; or
•there are unexpected changes to the demographic trends or economic development of the markets in which we operate.
Our efforts to avoid or address any of these events could require us to make substantial expenditures to modify or adapt our services or platform. If we fail to retain or grow our participant base, or if our users reduce their engagement with our platform, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.
Sellers set their own prices and decide which goods they make available on our marketplace, which could affect our ability to respond to consumer preferences and trends.
We do not control the portfolio or pricing strategies of our sellers, which could affect our ability to effectively compete on the breadth of our product assortment or on price with the other distribution channels. Our sellers may be unaware of consumer preferences and trends and fail to offer the products our consumers prefer. Additionally, our sellers may employ different pricing strategies based on the geographical location of consumers, which could lead consumers to look for more competitively priced products on other distribution channels. Our sellers may also engage in fictitious pricing, an advertising tactic wherein sellers exaggerate the level of discounts provided on certain products by comparing the discount price to a prior-reference price at which the product was never really offered for sale. Such tactics, if perpetrated by our sellers, may alienate consumers from our marketplace and harm our reputation. Moreover, sellers that are prevented from engaging in fictitious pricing on our marketplace may choose to list their goods on other channels instead of our marketplace, which could also result in a loss of consumers.
If consumers are unable to purchase their preferred products at competitive prices on our marketplace, they may choose to purchase products elsewhere, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We depend on third-party carriers as part of our fulfillment process.
We depend on the services of third-party carriers for the delivery of a large number of goods to our warehouses and subsequently to the distribution centers of third-party carriers and from there to our consumers. Even where goods do not enter our warehouses, these goods are handled by third-party carriers who directly receive them from sellers.
Consequently, we have only limited control over the timing of deliveries and the security and quality of the goods while they are being transported. Consumers may experience shipping delays due to inclement weather, natural disasters, employment strikes or terrorism, and/or goods may be damaged or lost in transit. If goods are of a poor quality or damaged or lost in transit, not delivered in a timely manner, or if we are not able to provide adequate consumer support, our consumers may become dissatisfied and cease buying their goods through our marketplace.
It may be difficult to replace any of our current third-party carriers due to a lack of alternative offerings at comparable prices and/or service quality in the relevant geographic area. Given the infrastructure deficiencies in the markets in which we currently operate, experienced and highly qualified third-party carriers are in increasing demand and accordingly, have only limited capacities. As a result, competition for delivery capacities may intensify even further. In addition, our carriers may increase their prices, which would adversely affect our results. Our third party-party carriers may fail to secure or maintain licenses required to operate and may be required to stop operating if their activities are not duly licensed. Furthermore, as we continue to grow, our existing carriers may be unable to keep up with such growth, and we may have to contract additional carriers. There is no guarantee that their services and prices will be satisfactory to us or our consumers. An inability to maintain and expand a network of high-quality third-party carriers at attractive costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may experience malfunctions or disruptions of our technology systems.
We rely on a complex technology platform and technology systems to operate our websites and apps. While we analyze our technology systems regularly, we may not be able to correctly assess their susceptibility to errors, hacking or viruses. For example, certain software we use for our business is based on open-source software, which may expose our business to systemic problems if errors in the open-source code are not detected in a timely manner.
Our systems may experience service interruptions or degradation because of hardware and software defects or malfunctions, computer denial-of-service and other cyberattacks, human error, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fires, natural disasters, power losses, disruptions in telecommunications services, fraud, military or political conflicts, terrorist attacks, computer viruses, or other events. Our systems are also subject to break-ins, sabotage and intentional acts of vandalism. Some of our systems are not fully redundant, and our disaster recovery planning is not sufficient for all eventualities. In particular, as we have not yet completed a full disaster recovery check, we may not be aware of any material weaknesses in our disaster recovery systems. Any failure of or disruptions to our technology systems may lead to significant malfunctions and downtimes of our websites and apps. If our algorithms suffer from programing failures or our technology systems experience disruptions, we may be unable to deliver goods on time or misallocate goods, either of which could adversely affect our business. Furthermore, we do not have an adequate business continuity infrastructure, and any failure of a key piece of infrastructure may lead to extended outages and generally affect our business continuity. In addition, we may not adequately manage malfunctions. If we cannot fix any malfunction ourselves, we may have to pay third parties to fix the malfunction or to license functioning software, which may be costly.
We have experienced and will likely continue to experience system failures, denial-of-service attacks and other events or conditions from time to time that interrupt the availability or reduce the speed or functionality of our websites and mobile applications. Reliability is particularly critical for us because the full-time availability of our payment services is critical to our goal of gaining widespread acceptance among consumers and sellers, in particular with respect to digital and mobile payments. Frequent or persistent interruptions in our services could cause current or potential consumers to believe that our systems are unreliable, leading them to switch to our competitors or to avoid our sites, which could irreparably harm our reputation and brands. To the extent that any system failure or similar event results in damages to our consumers or their businesses, these consumers could seek significant compensation from us for their losses and such claims, even if unsuccessful, would likely be time consuming and costly to address.
In addition, we depend on certain third-party service providers to operate and maintain certain of our technology systems, such as cloud services. If such service providers experience malfunctions or disruptions of their technology or increase their prices, it could adversely affect our business. Furthermore, if we need to switch service providers, for example if certain software is no longer fully compatible with our technology platform or no longer available in any country in which we currently operate (e.g., due to sanctions), there is no guarantee that alternative service providers will be available to us or that we would manage the transition successfully.
As we continue to grow our business, we may be required to further scale our technology platform and technology systems, including by adding and migrating to new systems and proprietary software, replacing outdated hardware and increasing the integration of our technology systems. Such changes may, however, be delayed or fail due to malfunctions or an inability to integrate new software and functions with our existing technology platform, resulting in disruptions to our operations and insufficient scale to support our future growth. In addition, as a provider of payments solutions, we are subject to increased scrutiny by regulators that may require specific business continuity and disaster recovery plans and more rigorous testing of such plans. This increased scrutiny may be costly and time consuming and may divert our resources from other business priorities.
Any malfunctions and disruptions of our technology systems could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may experience security breaches and disruptions due to hacking, viruses, fraud, malicious attacks and other circumstances.
We operate websites, apps and other technology systems through which we collect, maintain, transmit and store sensitive information, such as credit or debit card information, about our consumers, sellers, suppliers and other third parties. We also store proprietary information and business secrets. Additionally, we employ third-party service providers that store, process and transmit such information on our behalf, in particular payment details. Furthermore, we rely on encryption and authentication technology licensed from third parties to securely transmit sensitive and confidential
information. While we take steps such as the use of password policies and firewalls to protect the security, integrity and confidentiality of sensitive and confidential information, our security practices may be insufficient and third parties may access our technology systems without authorization – such as through trojans, spyware, ransomware or other malware attacks – which may result in unauthorized use or disclosure of such information. Such attacks might lead to blackmailing attempts, forcing us to pay substantial amounts to release our captured data or resulting in the unauthorized release of such data. Given that techniques used in these attacks change frequently and often are not recognized until launched against a target, it may be impossible to properly secure our technology systems. In addition, technical advances or a continued expansion and increased complexity of our technology platform could increase the likelihood of security breaches. For example, in early 2022, we experienced a cybersecurity incident in which an unauthorized third-party gained access to limited data within Jumia’s information technology systems. The incident did not impact our operations and we took remedial measures to contain it. While we intend to make additional investments into our information technology and systems to protect the security, integrity and confidentiality of our data, there can be no assurance that a similar incident will not happen in the future.
Security breaches may also occur as a result of non-technical issues, including intentional or inadvertent breaches by our employees or third-party service providers. Insufficient security practices, such as inadequate policies to enforce password complexity, the saving of username and password combinations on local browsers, any failure to update permissions granted to current or former employees, any weakness in access controls, the use of default credentials or their reuse coupled with the use of third-party cloud services, the use of unauthorized and unprotected software as well as inadequate physical protection against unauthorized access may make our technology systems vulnerable and lead to unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information.
Any leakage of sensitive information could lead to a misuse of data, including unsolicited emails or other messages based on spam lists fed with such data. Inefficient management of administrator and user accounts may increase the risk of fraud and malfunctions. In addition, any such breach could violate applicable privacy, data security and other laws, and cause significant legal and financial risks or negative publicity, and could adversely affect our business and reputation. We may need to devote significant resources to protect ourselves against security breaches or to address such breaches, and there is no guarantee that our resources will be sufficient to do so. Furthermore, we provide certain information to third-party service providers, such as Google, who help us assess the performance of our business. Consequently, we have only limited control over the protection of such information by the relevant third-party service providers and may be adversely affected by breaches and disruptions of their respective technology systems.
Security breaches and disruptions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We conduct a substantial amount of our business in foreign currencies, which heightens our exposure to the risk of exchange rate fluctuations.
We are subject to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates between the US Dollar, our reporting currency, and currencies of other countries where we market or source our goods, for example the Nigerian Naira, the Egyptian Pound, the Kenyan Shilling and the West African CFA Franc. Such fluctuations may result in significant increases or decreases in our reported revenue and other results as expressed in US Dollar, and in the reported value of our assets, liabilities and cash flows. In addition, currency fluctuation may adversely affect receivables, payables, debt, firm commitments and forecast transactions denominated in foreign currencies. In particular, transition risks arise where parts of the cost of sales are not denominated in the same currency of such sales. We currently do not hedge this exposure. Fluctuation in exchange rates, depreciation of local currencies, changes in monetary and/or fiscal policy or inflation in the countries in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
The future growth of our business depends on several external factors, some of which are beyond our control, and there is no guarantee that we can maintain our historical growth rates.
We have historically experienced growth in our usage indicators, such as Annual Active Consumers, Quarterly Active Consumers, Orders or GMV. There can be no assurance that we will continue to experience growth in the future. The levels of marketing investments and promotional intensity may fluctuate over time which may negatively affect usage indicators. External effects, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused supply and logistics challenges for our business, may also negatively affect our growth trajectory. In addition, a shift in the relative proportion of first-party sales to third-party sales may significantly and negatively affect any reported revenue growth and could even lead to a decline in reported revenue.
The growth of our business is dependent on our ability to both retain existing and add new sellers, which we may not be able to continue to do at historic rates and acquisition costs, or at all. As we scale our business, we face the risk that our current sellers may not successfully increase their offers to keep up with increasing consumer demand, which may require us to increase our first-party sales. Alternatively, we could select and onboard new local or international sellers to keep up with the increasing consumer demand; however, doing so might prove more difficult than expected or we may not be able to onboard new sellers at all. Furthermore, if we onboard too many international sellers, we risk alienating local sellers which would compound supply issues.
Our local sellers, some of whom rely on imports for supply, may be negatively affected by local currency devaluations as well as global supply chain disruption. Curtailed access to supply for our local sellers may negatively affect the breadth of assortment on our platform which in turn may affect usage growth and overall performance of the business.
We also face the risk of losing sellers due to seller insolvency. If any of our current sellers were to become insolvent, they would no longer be able to offer products on our marketplace. Additionally, they may not be able to fulfill open orders and deliver products as promised. Furthermore, if we pay a seller before such seller fulfills its obligations to our consumers, we may be unable to recover from such a seller any funds paid for undelivered items, for example if the seller becomes insolvent.
The occurrence of any of the risks described above could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may not be able to manage future growth efficiently, which may adversely affect our business.
We aim to continue to grow our business and our leadership in the markets in which we operate. If we succeed in significantly increasing the number of our Annual Active Consumers, we will be required to further expand and improve our marketplace, technology systems, fulfillment infrastructure and consumer support, which we may not achieve in a timely and cost-effective manner. If we are unable to successfully manage future growth, consumer satisfaction and our reputation may be negatively affected.
Growth of our business may also place significant demands on our management and key employees, as expansion will increase the complexity of our business and place a significant strain on our management, operations, technical systems, financial resources and internal control over financial reporting functions. Our current and planned personnel, systems, procedures and controls may not be adequate to support and effectively manage our future operations, especially as we employ personnel in numerous geographic locations. Our ability to hire a sufficient number of new employees for our expanding operations depends on the overall availability of qualified employees, and our ability to offer them sufficiently attractive employment terms compared to other employers. Functional experts such as technology experts and compliance specialists are particularly hard to recruit and retain in the markets in which we operate.
If we experience significant future growth, we may be required not only to make additional investments in our platform and workforce, but also to expand our relationships with various partners and other third parties with whom we do business, such as third-party carriers, and to expend time and effort to integrate such parties into our operations. The expansion of our business could exceed the capacities of our partners and other third parties willing to do business with us, and if they are unable to keep up with our growth, our operations could be adversely affected.
Any failure to meet such challenges may lead to an increase in the risk of disruptions and compliance violations, could adversely affect our profitability, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may fail to effectively monetize our services, which could negatively affect our business and prospects.
We may fail to effectively monetize our services, particularly as a number of our monetization avenues are nascent or untested. For example, as the competitive landscape in Africa increases, we may need to decrease the rate of our seller commissions in order to retain our seller base. Additionally, effective monetization of our nascent marketing and advertising service depends on our ability to generate sufficient usage on our platform and an attractive return on investment to advertisers. Furthermore, we cannot guarantee the successful monetization of our Jumia Logistics service to third parties or the successful off-platform expansion of JumiaPay. Any failure to successfully monetize these or other of our services could negatively affect our business and prospects.
We may be unable to maintain and expand our relationships with sellers or to find additional sellers for our marketplace.
Our sellers range from small merchants and artisans to larger corporations. If we fail to maintain and expand our existing relationships or to build new relationships with sellers on acceptable commercial terms, we will not be able to maintain and expand our broad product and service offering, which could adversely affect our business.
In order to maintain and expand our relationships with our current sellers and to attract additional quality sellers, we need, among other factors, to:
•provide a simple and easy to use platform, on which sellers can attractively present their goods and services;
•demonstrate our ability to help our sellers sell significant volumes of their goods;
•provide sellers with effective marketing and advertising products;
•offer an innovative platform;
•offer sellers a high-quality, cost-effective fulfillment process, including returns; and
•continue to provide sellers with a dynamic and real time view of demand and inventory via data and analytics capabilities.
If we fail to maintain an attractive mix of sellers or fail to find quality sellers of attractive goods, if such sellers refuse to use our platform or if we do not manage these relationships efficiently, we may not be able to grow as anticipated, which could adversely affect our business. Our competitors may seek to enter into exclusivity agreements with certain sellers and thereby prevent us from partnering with such sellers. Competitors or retailers may encourage manufacturers to limit distribution to sellers who sell through us.
Our policy is to delist any goods or sellers who repeatedly fail to meet our performance standards (e.g., product quality, environmental compliance and labor relations standards), which may lead to a significant reduction of sellers on our marketplace. Furthermore, sellers may decide to cease cooperating with us, discontinue their operations, or may face financial distress or other business disruptions. As a result, we may not be able to maintain and expand our product offering and may consequently lose consumers to competitors with a larger seller base.
An inability to find, engage and retain the right sellers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
In order to offer our consumers an attractive product mix, we may be required to find sellers abroad or to engage in selling goods ourselves.
The more attractive the product mix on our marketplace, the more consumers visit our marketplace and order from our sellers. However, there can be no assurance that our sellers will offer a product mix that is attractive to our consumers. If we identify gaps in the product offering on our marketplace, we either seek to have sellers from abroad, such as China, offer their goods on our marketplace or, in some cases, decide to sell goods ourselves. Sellers from abroad may, however, not be sufficiently familiar with local consumer preferences or only be interested in listing high value goods, as low value goods may not allow them to recover the costs incurred for sales over our marketplace.
Furthermore, there can be no assurance that sellers from abroad will not face issues with import restrictions or delays in obtaining required customs clearances. As a growing percentage of our revenue stems from cross-border sales, future import restrictions, delays in obtaining required customs clearances, in particular with respect to goods imported from China, or events negatively affecting international trade, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, may have a material adverse effect on our revenue.
Where we engage directly in selling goods, we take on inventory risk. Consumer preferences regarding price, quality and design of certain goods may change rapidly, making it difficult to accurately forecast future demand. If we fail to correctly anticipate the demand, we may not be able to avoid overstocking or understocking certain goods. If we underestimate demand, this may result in a loss of consumers who are unsatisfied with our delivery times. If we
overestimate demand, we may experience excess inventories and may ultimately be forced to record losses for write-offs on inventory. In order to sell such excess inventories, we may choose to sell goods at significant discounts, which may adversely affect our profit margins and the level of prices we can demand for other goods, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We face challenges with failed deliveries, excessive returns and voucher abuse, which may materially and adversely affect our business and prospects.
Most of our orders are home delivery. For home deliveries, consumers need to be present at the point of delivery or need to have made arrangements for drop-off or delivery to a third person. In addition, for orders to be paid in cash on delivery, the relevant consumer must provide payment at the time of delivery. However, there is no guarantee that our consumers will actually be present at scheduled delivery locations at the scheduled delivery times. If a consumer is not present and has not made other arrangements, we schedule a new delivery time. We typically make three delivery attempts, and if all of these attempts fail, we return the product to the seller. If there is a failed delivery, we are required to notify the seller within 21 days of when the package was shipped. If we do not notify the seller within this timeframe, we must take possession of the item and accept the loss as a result of the failed delivery.
Even if the product is successfully delivered to the consumer and delivery is verified, most of our sellers are required, either by local regulations or by our operating standards, to allow consumers to return goods within a certain period of time after delivery. For example, in Egypt, which is one of our largest markets, consumers have a legal right to return any product within fourteen days after delivery so long as the product is in the same condition as when delivered. Furthermore, if our sellers offer more consumer friendly return policies, the number of returns may increase, which could adversely affect our business. We also utilize an algorithm that determines, based upon a number of factors, whether a consumer will receive a refund for a returned item. In some instances, the algorithm might make a refund determination before our after-sales team is able to review and process the refund. Any mistakes or errors in the algorithm could result in mistaken refunds, which in turn could result in loss of sales.
In certain markets, we also offer guarantees in the event that a damaged or defective product is delivered. Although we have instituted these guarantees in an effort to increase consumer satisfaction, consumers may abuse our guarantee policies which could harm our business. Additionally, we seek to increase consumer satisfaction across all markets by offering apology vouchers to our consumers on a case-by-case basis in the event of a failed or incorrect delivery. However, we periodically experience fraud and voucher abuse wherein account owners have managed to receive duplicate apology vouchers for the same transaction.
A significant increase in failed deliveries, excessive or mistaken returns, or voucher abuse – due to changing consumer behavior, consumer dissatisfaction with our goods or consumer service, or otherwise – may force us to allocate additional resources to mitigating these issues, may force us to waive our commission fees and may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We face risks associated with our use of third-party delivery agents and our acceptance of cash on delivery as a payment method, which may materially and adversely affect our business and prospects.
We face risks associated with our use of third-party delivery agents, including the risk that such agents might misappropriate inventory. Additionally, we struggle to verify delivery when our third-party delivery partners deliver packages without obtaining consumer signatures. When goods are delivered without verification, we may be required to deliver a duplicate product.
We also face risks associated with our acceptance of cash on delivery as a payment method. When a third-party delivery agent successfully delivers a product and accepts cash payment from the consumer, we face the risks of late collections (in the event that the third-party delivery agent does not remit the funds to us on time) or unrecoverable receivables (in the event that the third-party delivery agent commits fraud or becomes insolvent). These risks are particularly acute in countries where the percentage of outsourced deliveries is high.
Any significant increase in misappropriated inventory, late collections or unrecoverable receivables, whether due to fraud or otherwise, may force us to allocate additional resources to mitigating these issues, may force us to waive our commission fees and may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may be subject to allegations and lawsuits concerning the content of our platform or claiming that items listed on our marketplace are counterfeit, pirated or illegal.
We operate a marketplace where sellers can offer their goods and directly contact our consumers. Consumers or regulatory authorities may allege that items offered or sold through our marketplace infringe third-party copyrights, trademarks and patents or other intellectual property rights, are pirated or illegal or violate consumer protection laws or regulations. While we have adopted certain measures to verify the authenticity of goods sold on our marketplace (for example, periodic screening procedures, content verification for new sellers or for sellers who sell goods at prices that seem too low for genuine goods) and to penalize sellers who attempt to sell infringing goods, these measures may not always be successful in minimizing potential violations and/or infringement of third-party intellectual property rights.
When we receive complaints or allegations regarding infringement or counterfeit, pirated or illegal goods, we follow certain procedures to verify the nature of the complaint and the relevant facts in order to be able to determine the appropriate action, which may include removal of the item from our marketplace and, in certain cases, discontinuing our relationship with a seller who repeatedly violates our policies. We believe these procedures are important to ensure confidence in our marketplace among sellers and consumers. However, these procedures could result in the delay of de-listing of allegedly infringing goods and may not effectively reduce or eliminate our liability. In particular, we may be subject to civil or criminal liability for unlawful activities carried out, including goods listed, by third parties on our platform.
In the event that alleged counterfeit, pirated, illegal or infringing goods are listed or sold on our marketplace, we could face claims for such listings, sales or alleged infringement or for our failure to act in a timely or effective manner to restrict or limit such sales or infringement. Regardless of the validity of any claims made against us, we may incur significant costs and efforts to defend against or settle such claims. For example, we have in the past received inquiries regarding product status from the relevant regulators in Nigeria and certain other countries where we operate. If a governmental authority determines that we have aided and abetted the infringement or sale of counterfeit, pirated or illegal goods, we could face regulatory, civil or criminal penalties. Successful claims by third-party rights owners could require us to pay substantial damages or refrain from permitting any further listing of the relevant items. These types of claims could force us to modify our business practices and implement further measures in an effort to protect against these potential liabilities, which could lower our revenue, increase our costs or make our platform less attractive and user-friendly. Sellers whose content is removed or services are suspended or terminated by us, regardless of our compliance with the applicable laws, rules and regulations, may dispute our actions and commence action against us for damages based on breach of contract or other causes of action or make public complaints or allegations. Any costs incurred as a result of liability or asserted liability relating to the sale of unlawful goods or other infringement could harm our business.
In addition, the public perception that counterfeit, pirated or illegal items are commonplace on our marketplace or perceived delays in our removal of these items, even if factually incorrect, could damage our reputation, result in lower list prices for goods sold through our marketplace, deter sellers, consumers and brands from doing business via our platform, harm our business, result in regulatory pressure or action against us and diminish the value of our brand.
The materialization of any of these risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Harmful goods, product defects and product recalls could adversely affect our business and reputation.
As the goods offered through our marketplace are manufactured by third parties, we have only limited control over the quality of these goods. We cannot always effectively prevent our sellers from selling harmful or defective goods, which could cause death, disease or injury to our consumers or damage their property. We may be seen as having facilitated the sale of such goods and may be forced to recall such goods. Where we act directly as seller, we may also have to recall harmful goods. In all of these cases, we may not be able to avoid product liability claims and/or administrative fines or criminal charges against us. There is no guarantee that we will be adequately insured against such risks or that we will be able to take recourse against the sellers or suppliers from whom we sourced these goods, in particular if the seller or supplier is located in a foreign country where enforcement of our rights may be difficult, such as China, or does not have sufficient capital to indemnify us. In addition, any negative publicity resulting from product recalls or the assertion that we sold defective goods could damage our brand and reputation.
The sale of harmful or defective goods and product recalls could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Failure to deal effectively with any fraud perpetrated and fictitious transactions conducted on our platform could harm our business.
We face risks with respect to fraudulent activities on our platform. Given the countries in which we operate, the number of participants on our platform and the fragmentation of our business, it is a challenge to anticipate, detect and address fraudulent activities. Although we have implemented various measures to detect and reduce the occurrence of fraudulent activities on our platform, there can be no assurance that such measures will be effective in combating fraudulent transactions or improving overall satisfaction among sellers, consumers and other participants. Additional measures that we take to address fraud could also negatively affect the attractiveness of our platform to sellers or consumers.
For example, we may receive complaints from consumers who may not have received goods that they had purchased, or complaints from sellers who have not received payment for the goods ordered. In addition to fraudulent transactions with legitimate consumers, sellers may also engage in fictitious or “phantom” transactions with themselves or collaborators in order to artificially inflate their own ratings on our marketplace, reputation and search results rankings. This activity may harm other sellers by enabling the perpetrating seller to be favored over legitimate sellers and may harm consumers by deceiving them into believing that a seller is more reliable or trusted than the seller actually is.
We have experienced improper practices, including practices engaged in by our independent sales consultants and a small number of our employees. For example, in September 2022, we discovered that an employee in Kenya manipulated certain vendor payment entries and misappropriated payments in 2021 and 2022. While the financial impact in this case was not material (below $150 thousand), any such illegal, fraudulent or collusive activities by our employees could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects and could subject us to liability or negative publicity. Allegations of employee misconduct have led us to improve our internal controls and our cash reconciliation system. We routinely monitor our internal controls, processes and procedures at a country and group level, but we can provide no assurances that such controls, processes and procedures will prove effective. Any illegal, fraudulent or collusive activity conducted by our employees could adversely affect our profitability and could severely damage our brand and reputation as an operator of a trusted marketplace, which could drive sellers, consumers and other participants away from our marketplace.
Negative publicity and consumer sentiment generated as a result of actual or alleged fraudulent or deceptive conduct on our platform or by our employees could severely diminish consumer confidence in us and in our services, reduce our ability to attract new or retain current consumers, sellers and other participants, discourage banks and card issuers from allowing their payment instruments to be used to conduct transactions on our platform, harm investor confidence, negatively affect our ability to raise additional capital, damage our reputation and diminish the value of our brand; any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
In addition to seller fraud and fraud committed by our employees, partners or other third parties, we face the risk of fraud perpetrated directly by our consumers. Consumer fraud may harm seller confidence in the integrity of our marketplace and the certainty of payment.
We may be subject to chargeback and refund liability if our sellers do not reimburse chargebacks or refunds resolved in favor of their consumers.
We face risks associated with chargebacks and refunds in connection with payment card fraud or relating to the goods or services provided by sellers on our marketplace. When a billing dispute with respect to a transaction on our platform is resolved in favor of the cardholder, including in instances of fraudulent seller activity, the transaction is typically “charged back” to us and the purchase price is credited or otherwise refunded to the cardholder. If we do not collect chargebacks or refunds from the seller’s account, or if the seller refuses to or is unable to reimburse us for chargebacks or refund due to closure, insolvency, or other reasons, we may lose the amount refunded to the cardholder. Our financial results would be adversely affected to the extent that sellers do not fully reimburse us for the related chargebacks. Additionally, chargebacks occur more frequently with online transactions than with in-person transactions. Any increase in chargebacks or refunds not paid by our sellers may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may fail to maintain or expand our logistics capabilities.
The successful operation and expansion of our logistics service is crucial to maintain and enhance consumer satisfaction and to our business and continued growth.
Our warehouses handle a number of functions, including inbound freight, storage, packaging, outbound freight, and handling of returns. These processes are complex and depend on sophisticated know-how and technological infrastructure. Any failure or disruption of our logistics, including due to software malfunctions, inability to renew leases for existing offices or warehouses, theft from or disruptions to the processes within our warehouses, labor strikes, fires, natural disasters, pandemics such as COVID-19, acts of terrorism, vandalism or sabotage could adversely affect our ability deliver goods ordered via our marketplace in a timely manner, increase our logistics costs and harm our reputation.
Furthermore, delivery times for our goods vary due to a variety of factors such as relevant goods, stock levels, location of warehouses from which goods are shipped, speed of our sellers, number of goods included in the relevant order, country in which sellers and consumers are located and the speed of third-party carriers. Consumers may expect faster delivery times and more convenient deliveries than we can provide. If we are unable to meet consumer expectations, or if our competitors are able to deliver goods faster or more conveniently, our reputation and competitiveness may suffer and we could lose consumers, which could adversely affect our revenue.
Additionally, we face the risk that any of our third-party carriers, who often collect cash-on-delivery payments from our consumers, may become insolvent, in which case our delivery capability would be adversely affected, and we would be unable to collect the cash payments such a carrier still held on our behalf. Even though we would not be able to collect from an insolvent third-party carrier, we would still be obligated to pay our sellers whose goods were already delivered to consumers. The insolvency of any of our third-party carriers could harm our business and financial condition.
Our current logistics capacity may prove insufficient if we continue to grow. There is no guarantee that we will be able to open additional warehouses, find delivery partners with sufficient capacity in an efficient and timely manner, lease additional suitable warehouses on acceptable terms, expand other areas of our fulfillment process to the extent necessary or recruit qualified personnel required to operate our warehouses and manage such expansion. Any failure to expand our logistics capacity to meet the demands of our continued growth could prevent us from growing our business.
If we decide to expand geographically or add new businesses or product categories with different logistics requirements or change the composition of our product offering, our logistics infrastructure may require greater processing capacity, requiring us to adapt our logistics service and to find new partners. Any expansion or difficulties we encounter in our operations may force us to change the current set-up and organization of our logistics network, including by relocating or outsourcing certain capabilities. However, there is no guarantee that the associated transition will be smooth and we may be unable to react to such challenges in a cost-effective and timely manner.
An inability to efficiently operate and expand our warehouses and logistics capabilities could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
If any of our logistics services were to malfunction, suffer an outage or otherwise fail, our business may be materially and adversely affected.
We cooperate with a number of third-party logistics and delivery companies to help our sellers fulfill orders and deliver their goods to consumers, in particular with respect to last-mile delivery, and to meet the requirements of our third-party logistics clients. We have established a logistics information platform that links our information system to those of our logistics partners. Interruptions to or failures in our third-parties’ logistics and delivery services, or in our logistics information platform, could prevent the timely or proper delivery of goods to consumers, which could harm our reputation, in particular if such interruptions or failures occur during one of our key sales events, like Black Friday. These interruptions may be caused by events that are beyond our control or the control of these third parties, such as inclement weather, natural disasters, transportation disruptions or labor or other political unrest. Our logistics and delivery services could also be affected or interrupted by industry consolidation, service provider failure, insolvency, change in regulations or government shut-downs.
If the logistics information platform we use were to fail for any reason, our logistics providers may find it more difficult or even impossible to connect with our sellers, and their services and the functionality of our platform could be
severely affected. Our existing disaster recovery plans may not be sufficient to ensure a timely remediation of such failures or disruptions.
In addition, in the event of any interruptions to or failures in our third-parties’ logistics and delivery services, or in our logistics service, we could be held liable by our sellers and/or consumers for any resulting damage.
If goods sold on our marketplace are not delivered in proper condition, on a timely basis or at shipping rates that marketplace participants are willing to bear, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
The costs of our logistics service are subject to fluctuation in the prices of raw materials and fuel, and we may not be able to pass on price increases to our sellers and consumers.
Our logistics service provides solutions for the delivery of goods ordered through our marketplace. Our logistics service includes a number of logistics partners, with whom we agree on certain economical terms and settle the incurred costs. While we seek to pass on to our sellers and consumers most of the costs of these logistic services, we typically bear the risk of cost fluctuation. The costs of our logistics service are typically influenced by a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control, including raw material and fuel prices which are volatile in our countries of operation, labor costs, rent levels, import tariffs and fluctuation in foreign exchange rates, the capacity and utilization rates of our sellers and carriers, which in turn depend on general demand, as well as the quantities of goods we demand and our specifications. As a result, our costs may vary considerably in the short-term and increase significantly if certain partners experience shortages. There is no guarantee that we will be able to pass on such costs to our sellers or consumers through price increases, and such price increases could adversely affect demand for the goods or services sold on our marketplace. If competitors are able to offer lower prices as they benefit from decreasing raw materials or fuel prices, sellers and consumers may demand that we also lower our prices, irrespective of the actual development of our costs.
Increases in logistics costs and an inability to pass on such increases to our sellers and consumers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Changes in how consumers fund their transactions using our payment service could harm our business.
We may pay significant transaction fees when consumers fund payment transactions using credit, debit or prepaid cards, mobile money or via bank transfers, and no fees when consumers fund payment transactions from an existing Jumia account balance or when consumers pay cash on delivery.
The financial success of our payment services is sensitive to changes in the rate at which our consumers fund payments, which can significantly increase our costs. Some of our consumers may prefer to use credit, debit or prepaid cards due to their functionality and/or benefits. An increase in the proportion of more expensive payment forms as compared to less expensive payment forms could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our payment service, JumiaPay, could fail to function properly, and we may not be able to expand or integrate JumiaPay into other online portals.
JumiaPay, together with its network of licensed payment service providers and other partners, facilitates transactions between sellers and consumers and provides certain participants with access to financial services. Due to the variety and complexity of the payment methods we offer, we may experience failures in our checkout process, such as banks rejecting payment or consumers having insufficient funds, which could adversely affect our conversion rate, defined as the share of potential consumers visiting our marketplace who actually place an order, and our business. We may also experience complications and errors in our payment processing services such as paying duplicate refunds to certain customers or failing to remit refunds to our customers in a timely manner.
We rely on third parties to provide payment processing services. We also rely on third-party payment processors, and encryption and authentication technology licensed from third parties, to securely transmit consumers’ personal information. If these companies become unwilling or unable to provide these services or increase their fees, such as bank and intermediary fees for card payments, our operations may be disrupted and our operating costs could increase. Our invoice and billing systems may malfunction due to the implementation of new payment methods and technology, errors in existing codes or other technology issues. Any such issues may impair our ability to create correct invoices, avoid the
recording of duplicate invoices or payments and collect payments in a timely manner, or at all. Even though we aim to contract with multiple providers with overlapping competencies, we cannot guarantee that our third-party vendors will not experience a disruption in their services, increase their costs, or discontinue their services.
In addition, our current payment infrastructure may prove insufficient if we continue to grow. For instance, we may not be able to process high volumes. Any failure of the technology behind our payment solutions could be disruptive.
Malfunctions of our payment systems or our failure to effectively manage the growth of JumiaPay could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We could be subject to liability and forced to change our JumiaPay business practices if we were found to be subject to or in violation of any laws or regulations governing banking, money transmission, tax regulation, anti-money laundering regulations or electronic funds transfers in any country where we operate; or if new legislation regarding our JumiaPay business practices were enacted in the countries where JumiaPay operates.
A number of jurisdictions where we operate have enacted legislation regulating payment service providers, money transmitters and/or electronic payments or funds transfers. In a number of these countries, the legal framework, its interpretation and/or enforcement has recently changed substantially and we are challenged to adjust our operations. If our operation of JumiaPay were found to be in violation of payment services laws or regulations or any tax or anti-money laundering regulations, or engaged in an unauthorized banking or financial business, we could be subject to liability, forced to cease doing business with residents of certain countries, or forced to change our business practices. For example, in Nigeria, in response to notification from the Central Bank that the Company was providing payment services without a proper license, we agreed to adjust our operating model to partner with a third-party payment services provider for the processing of card transactions via JumiaPay until securing a proper license. This temporary change, which took effect at the beginning of March 2022, negatively affected the payment experience in Nigeria and payment volumes on the platform. We secured a final payment solution service provider license in Nigeria on April 28, 2022.
Any change to our JumiaPay business practices due to current or new legislation that makes the service less attractive to customers or prohibits its use by residents of a particular jurisdiction could harm our business. Even if we are not forced to change our JumiaPay business practices, we could be required to obtain licenses or regulatory approvals that could be very expensive and time consuming, and we cannot assure that we would be able to obtain these licenses in a timely manner or at all.
Deterioration in the performance of, or our relationship with, third-party payment providers or aggregators may adversely affect JumiaPay and harm our business.
JumiaPay often relies on payment providers and aggregators to facilitate consumer payments. Payment providers and aggregators collect payment from consumers via credit, debit or prepaid cards, mobile money accounts or bank transfers and then forward payment to the merchants, usually within one to three business days. Thus, payment providers allow merchants to collect card or bank transfer payments without establishing a direct relationship with banks and/or card networks used by our consumers. Additionally, in 2019, in connection with an investment of Mastercard into us, we entered into a commercial agreement with Mastercard with a term of ten years, which provides Mastercard with priority in delivering payment network-based solutions and technologies related to our business. This agreement could lead to a deterioration of our relationship with other service providers. If our relationship with such other service providers or third-party aggregators weakens, our ability to provide payment services to our consumers may be adversely affected. Lastly, if these third-party providers and aggregators fail to meet certain quality standards, our business and reputation may suffer. If we fail to extend or renew agreements with these aggregators on acceptable terms, this may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Changes to payment card networks or bank fees, rules, or practices, or our inability to allow consumers to use payment cards on our platform could harm our business.
From time to time, payment card networks or relevant banking regulators have increased the interchange fees and assessments that they charge for each transaction that accesses their networks, and they may further increase such fees and assessments in the future. Although our agreement with Mastercard enables us to use Mastercard Payment Gateway Services to process payment transactions, we face the risk that banks and payment processors might pass on to us any increases in interchange fees and assessments. Any changes in interchange fees and assessments could increase our operating costs and reduce our operating income.
We are required by our processors to comply with payment card network operating rules, including special operating rules for payment service providers to sellers, and we have agreed to reimburse our processors for any fines they are assessed by payment card networks as a result of any rule violations by us or our sellers. The payment card networks set and interpret the card operating rules and could interpret or re-interpret existing rules or adopt new operating rules that we or our processors might find difficult or even impossible to follow, or costly to implement. As a result, we could lose our ability to give consumers the option of using payment cards to fund their payments or the choice of currency in which they would like their card to be charged. Any inability to accept payment cards or any meaningful limitation in our ability to do so, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may be subject to card fraud or other fraudulent behavior, including as a result of identity theft.
Under current card practices, we may be liable for fraudulent card transactions. We do not currently carry insurance against this risk.
Furthermore, there is no guarantee that our established fraud scoring and risk handling systems will function properly at all times or that there are no gaps or errors in our algorithms that may result in unauthorized purchases. In addition, increasingly strict legislation on data protection may limit our ability to obtain the data required for our algorithms to function properly. Consequently, we may fail to identify fraudulent transactions before they occur or prevent fraudulent transactions from occurring.
If purchases or payments are not properly authorized or payment confirmations are transmitted in error, the relevant consumer may have insufficient funds or be able to defraud us, which could adversely affect our operations and result in increased legal expenses and fees. Consumers who are victims of fraudulent transactions where outside individuals use valid consumer account data to purchase goods, including as a result of identity theft, generally, have the right to require that we return those funds. In such instances of fraud, we may not be able to, or may not seek to, recover these chargebacks. We operate a delayed settlement regime in an effort to prevent this type of fraud and avoid distributing funds to insolvent sellers that fail to deliver their products. However, we cannot guarantee that such a regime will always prove effective.
Because our payment service, JumiaPay, is highly automated and allows for instant payment, we experience heightened susceptibility to fraud. We cannot completely guard against internal or external intruders into our data platform who may seek to use or manipulate our systems to create, transfer, or otherwise misappropriate funds belonging to legitimate consumers or to create new accounts or modify or delete existing accounts. We aim to balance convenience and security for sellers and consumers, and we cannot guarantee that we will be completely successful in preventing fraud. Furthermore, permitting new and innovative online payment options may increase the risk of fraud. High levels of fraud could result in an obligation to comply with additional requirements, pay higher payment processing fees or fines, or prevent us from retaining our consumers.
Fraudulent behavior could subject us to liability, damage our reputation and brand and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Dissatisfaction with our consumer support could prevent us from retaining our consumers.
As most interactions with consumers and sellers are conducted online, consumers and sellers may become frustrated when they cannot communicate with a representative over the phone. We pursue a multi-channel approach to consumer support, responding to requests by email, through our hotlines and via social media. The satisfaction of our consumers depends on the effectiveness of our consumer service, particularly our ability to deal with complaints in a timely and satisfying manner. As we continue to grow, we may need to add consumer support capabilities and may not be able to do so in a timely manner, or at all. Any unsatisfactory response or lack of responsiveness by our consumer support team, whether due to interruptions of our hotlines or other factors, could adversely affect consumer satisfaction and loyalty.
Dissatisfaction with our consumer support could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Any failure to maintain, protect and enhance our reputation and brand may adversely affect our business.
The recognition and reputation of our brand among our platform participants are critical for the growth and continued success of our business and for our competitiveness in the markets in which we operate. Any loss of trust in our
platform could harm the value of our brand and result in consumers and sellers ceasing to transact business on our marketplace or participants reducing the level of their commercial activity in our ecosystem, which could materially reduce our revenue and profitability. As competition intensifies, we anticipate that maintaining and enhancing our reputation and brand may become increasingly difficult and expensive, and investments to improve our reputation and increase the value of our brand may not be successful. Many factors, some of which are beyond our control, are important for maintaining and enhancing the reputation of our platform and brand, including our ability to:
•maintain and improve the reliability and security of our platform;
•maintain and improve the popularity, attractiveness, diversity, quality and value of the goods and services offered on our platform;
•increase brand awareness through marketing and brand promotion activities;
•preserve our reputation;
•maintain and improve our relationships with sellers;
•maintain and improve consumer satisfaction and loyalty;
•maintain and improve the efficiency, reliability and quality of our payment and logistics services; and
•manage new and existing technologies and sales channels, including our mobile applications.
Any failure to offer high quality goods and excellent consumer service could subject us to legal action or damage our reputation and brand and lead to a loss of consumers. For example, administrative agencies in several countries in which we operate require certification for various consumer goods before they can be offered for sale on our marketplace. Our third-party sellers are responsible for obtaining these certifications. If we allow third-party sellers to place their goods on our marketplace without proper certification, we might project to our consumers that they cannot always rely on goods available on our marketplace, we might be subject to fines or sanctions and we might face complaints from other compliant sellers. We also have procedures in place to ensure pre-shipping quality control checks, but, there can be no assurance that we will be able to catch all products that do not meet our quality standards, which could result in a loss of consumer confidence and harm our reputation. Our policy of delisting the sellers of noncompliant and/or low-quality goods until they produce the proper certificates and licenses or until their products meet our high-quality standards allows us to respond to complaints from administrative agencies and sellers. However, any delisting of sellers limits the total number of sales on our marketplace.
A large percentage of our products are offered by third-party sellers and delivered by third-party companies and are not completely within our control. Consequently, we may receive negative publicity, and in some cases may share liability, in cases of inappropriate actions of such sellers and delivery companies such as violations of product safety regulations, environmental standards, tax compliance, import rules, labor laws or incidents involving drivers and/or consumers that may make it more difficult for us to recruit new employees or may require us to change our business model. We also rely on third parties for information, including product characteristics and availability of goods we offer, which may be inaccurate. While our policy is to delist goods or sellers that fail to meet certain standards, there is no guarantee that we are capable of delisting these goods and sellers in a timely manner, or at all.
We may be the target of anti-competitive behavior, harassment, or other detrimental conduct by third parties, including from our competitors. Such conduct may include complaints, anonymous or otherwise, to regulatory agencies, which may arise from actions taken by third parties or our own commercial actions. As a result of such conduct, we may be subject to government or regulatory investigation and may be required to expend significant time and incur substantial costs to address such conduct. There is no guarantee that we will be able to conclusively refute each of the allegations within a reasonable period of time, or at all.
Any failure to maintain, protect and enhance our reputation and brands, whether as a result of our own actions or those of third parties, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our significant investments in marketing may fail to yield the desired results.
In order to reach a diverse consumer base in the e-commerce industry and to further build awareness of our brand, we have incurred, and continue to incur, substantial marketing expenses. We increased our investment in marketing in the second half of 2021 and most of 2022. While we expect to incur significantly lower marketing expenses in 2023, we may continue to incur a higher level of marketing expenses in the future. We cannot guarantee that our investment in marketing will be effective in growing the usage of our platform.
For purposes of planning our future marketing efforts, including deciding on the mix of marketing channels and setting our marketing budget, we rely on data regarding the effectiveness of marketing measures and channels collected in the past. Any inability to accurately measure the effectiveness of our marketing measures and channels, for example due to the time lag between the first consumer contact and the placement of an order as well as the time of the order and revenue realization, may lead to our marketing efforts not having the desired effect, which may negatively affect our growth and business. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that our assumptions regarding required consumer acquisition costs and resulting revenue, including those relating to the effectiveness of our marketing investments, will prove to be correct.
We cannot guarantee that our current marketing channels will continue to be effective or generally available to us in the future. Our online partners may not be able to deliver the anticipated number of consumer visits, or visitors attracted to our marketplace by such events may not make the anticipated purchases. For example, in our primary markets, we conduct marketing through targeted TV and radio ads, in addition to our traditional online channels. Any disruption of these channels could affect the number of visitors attracted to our marketplace. New regulation may adversely affect certain marketing channels, in particular regulation aimed at controlling and censoring social media and increasing data protection of natural persons. If we are not able to use our existing marketing channels due to increasing regulatory scrutiny, it could limit our ability to acquire and retain consumers.
An inability to attract sufficient traffic to our platform, have potential consumers download our app to their mobile devices, translate a sufficient number of website visits or app downloads into purchasers with sufficiently large order values, build and maintain a loyal consumer base, increase the purchase frequency of these consumers, or do any of the foregoing on a cost-effective basis, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may be unable to effectively communicate with our consumers through email, other messages or social media.
We rely on newsletters in the form of emails and other messaging services in order to promote our marketplace and inform consumers of our product offerings and/or the status of their transactions. Changes in how webmail services organize and prioritize emails, as well as actions by third parties to block, impose restrictions on, or charge for the delivery of emails and other messages, as well as legal or regulatory changes with respect to “permission-based marketing” or generally limiting our right to send such messages, could reduce the number of consumers opening our emails.
Additionally, malfunctions of our email and messaging services could result in erroneous messages being sent and consumers no longer wanting to receive any messages from us. Furthermore, our process of obtaining consent from visitors to our marketplace to receive newsletters and other messages from us and to allow us to use their data may be insufficient or invalid. As a result, such individuals or third parties may accuse us of sending unsolicited advertisements and other messages, and our use of email and other messaging services could result in claims against us.
Since we also rely on social media to communicate with our consumers, changes to the terms and conditions of relevant providers could limit our ability to communicate through social media. These services may change their algorithms or interfaces without notifying us, which may reduce our visibility. In addition, there could be a decline in the use of such social media by our consumers, in which case we may be required to find other, potentially more expensive, communication channels.
An inability to communicate through emails, other messages or social media could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We rely on service providers to drive traffic to our website, and these providers may change their search engine algorithms or pricing in ways that could negatively affect our business.
Our success depends on our ability to attract consumers in a cost-effective manner. With respect to our marketing channels, we rely heavily on relationships with providers of online services, search engines, social media, directories and
other websites to provide content, advertising banners and other links that direct consumers to our websites. We rely on these relationships as significant sources of traffic to our marketplace. We also depend on app store providers to allow potential consumers to download our app to their mobile devices.
Search engine companies change their natural search engine algorithms periodically, and our ranking in organic search results may be adversely affected by those changes. Search engine companies may also determine that we are not in compliance with their guidelines and consequently penalize us in their algorithms. If search engines change or penalize us with their algorithms, terms of service, display and featuring of search results, or if competition increases for advertisements, we may be unable to cost-effectively drive consumers to our website and apps. Any removal of our app from app stores could materially and adversely affect our business operations.
Investments in our technology platform and technology infrastructure may not yield the desired results.
We have developed a scalable technology platform to facilitate and integrate our business operations, data gathering analysis and online marketing capabilities and have invested significant capital and time into building and updating our technology platform and infrastructure. In order to remain competitive, we expect to continue to make significant investments in our technology. However, there is no guarantee that the resources we have invested or will invest in the future will allow us to develop suitable technology solutions and maintain and expand our technology platform and technology infrastructure as intended, which may adversely affect our ability to compete or require us to purchase expensive software solutions from third-party developers.
If our investments in our technology platform and technology infrastructure do not yield the desired results, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may fail to operate, maintain, integrate and upgrade our technology infrastructure, or to adopt and apply technological advances.
Our growth and success depend on our websites and apps being accessible to consumers at all times and to be fault tolerant. It may become increasingly difficult to maintain and improve the availability of our websites and apps, especially during peak usage times and as our product offering becomes more complex and the number of visitors to our marketplace increases. We have experienced disruptions in the past, including temporary downtimes of our websites due to third-party outages, and we may experience disruptions, outages, or other issues in the future, due to changes in our technology infrastructure, software malfunctions, third-party outages, fires, natural disasters, acts of terrorism, vandalism or sabotage. If we fail to effectively address capacity constraints, respond adequately to disruptions or upgrade our technology infrastructure, our mobile apps or websites could become unavailable or fail to load quickly, and consumers may decide to shop elsewhere, and may not return, which could adversely affect our business.
Given that the internet and mobile devices are characterized by rapid technological advances, including advances in the field of machine learning, artificial intelligence, micro-services and server-less architecture, our future success will depend on our ability to adapt our websites, apps and other parts of our technology platform to such advances and to sustain their interoperability with relevant operating systems. As traditional internet penetration is low in Africa, our consumers largely rely on mobile devices to access our offerings. In particular, purchases from mobile devices have increased rapidly since we introduced our apps. However, the variety of technical and other configurations across mobile devices and platforms makes it more difficult to develop websites and apps that are suitable for multiple channels. In addition, any changes in popular operating systems may reduce the functionality of our websites and apps or give preferential treatment to competitors. Any failure to adapt to technological advances in a timely manner and to integrate our offerings through our websites and apps could decrease the attractiveness of our websites and apps and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our use of open-source software may pose particular risks to our proprietary software and systems.
We use open-source software in our proprietary software and systems and intend to continue using open-source software in the future. From time to time, we may face claims from third parties claiming infringement of their intellectual property rights or demanding the release or license of the open-source software or derivative works that we developed using such software (which could include our proprietary source code) or otherwise seeking to enforce the terms of the applicable open-source license. These claims could result in litigation and could require us to purchase a costly license, publicly release the affected portions of our source code, be limited in or cease using the implicated software unless and
until we can re-engineer such software to avoid infringement or change the use of, or remove, the implicated open-source software.
In addition to risks related to license requirements, use of certain open-source software can lead to greater risks than use of third-party commercial software, as open-source licensors generally do not provide warranties, indemnities or other contractual protections with respect to the software (for example, non-infringement or functionality). Our use of open-source software may also present additional security risks because the source code for open-source software is publicly available, which may make it easier for hackers and other third parties to determine how to breach our website and systems that rely on open-source software.
Any of these risks could be difficult to eliminate or manage, and, if not addressed, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We depend on our personnel to grow and operate our business and may not be able to retain and replace existing personnel or to attract new personnel.
We depend upon the continued services and performance of our senior officers and other key personnel, many of whom have a level of experience and local knowledge that would be difficult to replicate. The unexpected departure or loss of any of our senior officers or other key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to attract or retain suitable replacements for such personnel in a timely manner or at all. We may also incur significant additional costs in recruiting and retaining suitable replacements. In addition, from time to time, there may be changes in our management team that may be disruptive to our business. For example, on November 7, 2022, we announced the appointment of a new management board and resignation of our former management board members, our co-CEOs and co-founders. We have more recently announced a number of steps taken to reduce our overall employee headcount and, in particular, to reduce the size of our Dubai office and limit the number of employees we have in Dubai. The reduction in our overall employee headcount may lead to capacity constraints. In addition, terminated employees might seek to negatively affect our reputation or may disclose confidential information to the public or third parties, such as competitors.
Our success and growth strategy also depend on our ability to expand our business by identifying, attracting, recruiting, training, integrating, managing and motivating new and talented personnel, which may require significant time, investments, and management attention. Competition for talent is intense, particularly for technology experts and other qualified personnel in our fields of operations. For example, other leading technology platforms also operate technology centers in Porto, Portugal, and compete directly with us for the same talent pool. In addition, certain governments started to promote access of indigenous peoples to better workplaces by limiting the number of expatriates or foreign workers. While our local workforces are mostly comprised of local employees, our group-level management and certain key personnel on a local level are expatriates from countries outside Africa, and any employment and immigration regulations may adversely affect our ability to retain or replace the required personnel. In addition, our employees and/or the third-party service providers with whom we collaborate may experience accidents or become victims of criminal actions in carrying out their duties, which may make it more difficult for us to recruit new employees or may even require us to change our business model. Finally, we may experience difficulty in staffing, developing, and managing our operations as a result of distance, language, and cultural differences among our employees operating in different countries.
An inability to retain and replace existing personnel or to attract new personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We manage our operations on a decentralized basis, which presents certain risks, including the risk that we may be slower or less able to identify or react to problems affecting our business than we would in a more centralized environment.
While we have a central technology, research and development and data team located in Porto, Portugal, we manage most of our operations on a decentralized basis. Historically, our executives travelled extensively but they have curtailed travel since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Events restricting international travel, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, may negatively affect our ability to effectively manage and grow our business.
Our local managers are given significant freedom concerning day-to-day operations. This structure presents various risks, including the risk that we may be slower or less able to identify or react to problems affecting our business than we would in a more centralized environment. In addition, we may be slower to detect compliance related problems,
and “company-wide” business initiatives, such as the integration of disparate information technology systems, may be more challenging and costly to implement, and their risk of failure higher, than they would be in a more centralized environment. Depending on the nature of the problem or initiative in question, such failure could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our corporate culture has contributed to our success, and if we cannot maintain this culture, we could lose the innovation, creativity and teamwork fostered by our culture, which could harm our business.
We believe that our entrepreneurial and collaborative corporate culture has been an important contributor to our success, which we believe fosters innovation, teamwork and passion among our employees. As we continue to grow, we may have difficulties in maintaining or adapting our culture to sufficiently meet the needs of our future and evolving operations, and we must be able to effectively integrate, develop and motivate a growing number of employees. Any failure to preserve our culture could also negatively affect our ability to retain and recruit personnel, maintain our performance or execute on our business strategy, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We are subject to various risks for which we may not be adequately insured.
While we have purchased what we consider to be market standard insurance coverage customary in our industry, such insurance does not cover all risks associated with our business. Accidents and other events, including interruptions or security breaches of our technology platform, could potentially lead to interruptions of our operations or cause us to incur significant costs, all of which may not be covered or fully covered by our insurance policies. In addition, our insurance coverage is subject to various limitations and exclusions, retentions amounts and limits. Furthermore, if any of our insurance providers becomes insolvent, we may not be able to successfully claim payment from such insurance provider. In the future, we may not be able to obtain coverage at current levels, or at all, and premiums for our insurance may increase significantly.
A lack of adequate insurance coverage could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may be subject to allegations, enforcement proceedings, and lawsuits concerning anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing.
As cash payments continue to be the most trusted and most widely used payment method in the countries in which we currently operate, our operations mainly depend on our “cash on delivery” payment option, where consumers pay for their order in cash upon delivery. We have implemented and aim to improve our various group-wide policies and procedures, including internal controls and “know-your-customer” procedures, and to comply with all applicable anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws and regulations for preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. However, our policies and procedures may not be completely effective in preventing other parties from using our platform, or any financial institutions we collaborate with, as a conduit for money laundering (including illegal cash operations) or terrorist financing without our knowledge. Although we take steps to conduct due diligence on our sellers, we cannot guarantee that our ecosystem is void of individuals and entities (collectively, “persons”) who are the target of U.S. sanctions, including persons designated on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (“OFAC”) Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List or other international sanctions. In addition to our own internal procedures, we rely on certain payment and lending service providers, including banks and other financial institutions, to have their own appropriate anti-money laundering compliance policies and procedures. Any strengthening of our know-your-customer efforts as well as penalties for non-compliance with our policies, may deter certain sellers from doing business with us or may cause a number of our existing seller accounts to close, which may negatively affect the development of our business.
We have not been subject to fines or other penalties or suffered business or other reputational harm as a result of actual or alleged money laundering or terrorist financing activities. However, if we were to be associated with money laundering or terrorist financing, our reputation could suffer and we could become subject to regulatory fines, sanctions, potential criminal charges for failure to report such activity, or other forms of legal enforcement, including being added to any “blacklists” that would prohibit certain parties (for example, U.S. banks and financial institutions) from engaging in transactions with us, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations. Even if we and any financial institutions with whom we collaborate continue to seek to comply with applicable anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws and regulations, we and such financial institutions may
not be able to ensure full compliance with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws and regulations in light of their complexity and the secrecy of these activities.
Any negative perception of us or our industry, such as that arising from any failure of us or others in our industry to detect or prevent money laundering or terrorist financing activities, even if factually incorrect or based on isolated incidents, could compromise our reputation, undermine the trust and credibility we have established, and negatively impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our activities or the activities of our partners in countries targeted by economic sanctions may negatively affect our reputation.
Various members of the international community have targeted certain countries with economic sanctions and other restrictive measures. Any violation by us of applicable economic sanctions laws or regulations or other restrictive measures could result in criminal, civil and/or material financial penalties. Any negative publicity or financial penalties may harm our reputation and may lead to us being targeted by divestment and similar initiatives.
Exchange controls may restrict the ability of our subsidiaries to convert or transfer sums in foreign currencies.
Our ability to generate operating cash flows at the level of the Company depends on the ability of its subsidiaries to upstream funds. Several of the countries in which we currently operate have exchange controls that can, from time to time, place restrictions on the exchange of local currency for foreign currency and the transfer of funds abroad. These controls generally have not created major operational problems in the past because of our negative profitability, but may become more onerous in the future. These controls and other controls that may be implemented in the future could limit the ability of our subsidiaries to transfer cash to us.
Moreover, in some of the countries in which we currently operate, our sellers have experienced, and may experience in the future, difficulties in converting large amounts of local currency into foreign currency due in particular to illiquid foreign exchange markets, preventing them from importing certain goods and impeding their ability to sell successfully on our marketplace. In addition, as the cash flows of certain countries are highly dependent on the export of certain raw materials, the ability to convert such currencies can be limited by the timing of payments for such exports, requiring us to organize our currency conversions around such constraints.
We can offer no assurance that additional restrictions on currency exchange will not be implemented in the future or that these restrictions will not limit the ability of our subsidiaries to transfer cash to us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
If we are unable to accurately assess our performance through certain key performance indicators, this may adversely affect our ability to determine and implement appropriate strategies.
We assess the success of our business through a set of key performance indicators such as the number of Annual Active Consumers, Quarterly Active Consumers, orders, GMV, TPV and JumiaPay Transaction, as well as Adjusted EBITDA. Our key performance indicators may not be comparable to similarly named indicators used by our competitors and are not verified by an independent third-party.
Capturing accurate data to calculate our key performance indicators may be difficult, and there is no guarantee that the information we have collected thus far is accurate or reliable. For example, we use consumer accounts to determine the number of Annual Active Consumers. The number of consumer accounts may, however, be higher than the number of actual individual Annual Active Consumers. TPV includes indirect payments volumes and, accordingly, may not be comparable with similar measures used by other companies. GMV could be inflated due to weak or error-prone data collection processes, misconduct, or malicious seller or consumer behavior. Furthermore, we obtain certain information from third-party service providers who help us assess the performance of our business, including Google Analytics. Such relevant third-party service providers may not fully disclose the methods of how they compile such information and we cannot guarantee that such information is accurate.
As a result, our key performance indicators may not reflect our actual operating or financial performance and are not reliable indicators of our current or future revenue or profitability. Potential investors should therefore not place undue reliance on these key performance indicators in connection with an investment in our ADSs. The management of our business depends on our key performance indicators and other indicators derived from them, and if any of these indicators
are inaccurate, we may make poor decisions. Furthermore, if we report key performance indicators that are significantly wrong, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and reliability of information we report, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may not accurately forecast revenue and appropriately plan our expenses.
We base our current and future expense levels on our operating forecasts and estimates of future revenue. Revenue and operating results are difficult to forecast because they generally depend on the volume and timing of orders placed on our marketplace and their fulfillment, all of which are uncertain. Additionally, our business is affected by general economic and business conditions around the world and by political and economic conditions in our countries of operation. A softening in revenue, whether caused by changes in consumer preferences, supply and logistics disruption or a weakening in local or global economies, may result in decreased revenue levels, and we may be unable to adjust our spending in a timely manner to compensate for any unexpected shortfall in revenue. This inability could cause our loss after tax in a given quarter to be higher than expected. If actual results differ from our estimates, our financial results for the relevant period may be lower than expected.
We make provisions based on management’s risk assessment at the time of finalization of the relevant financial statements. Where risks are estimated as probable, we make provisions in our financial statements. The risk assessment may change from one period to another, and additional risks may emerge. Changes in the risk assessment may lead to the recognition of additional provisions or the reversal of existing provisions, which can have a material impact on our financial results. Further, while the impact of risks that have already been provided for on our financial results is limited, the materialization of such risks may lead to substantial cash outflows, which may have a material adverse effect on our liquidity. As of December 31, 2022, we had current and non-current provisions for liabilities and other charges of $36.8 million, including tax provisions of $33.9 million.
If we do not accurately forecast revenue or appropriately plan our expenses, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our business is subject to seasonal fluctuation which may have a material impact on our results.
Our business is seasonal and, consequently, our revenue tends to fluctuate from quarter to quarter. For example, we consider the fourth quarter, which includes Black Friday and in many countries the year-end holidays, as especially important for generating revenue. Certain special events, including elections or Jumia Anniversary, result in increased demand for goods on our marketplace. In the future, such seasonality may become even more pronounced if consumers focus more strongly on certain special events.
As a result of this seasonality, any factor that adversely affects demand for goods on our marketplace during periods where we generally experience particularly high demand, including unfavorable economic or political conditions or the outbreak of an epidemic at the relevant time, logistics and other fulfillment constraints resulting in higher delivery times, malfunctions of our websites, and special offers from our competitors, may have a disproportionate effect on our performance, and we may incur lower revenue and losses due to write-offs on excess inventory. For example, Ramadan has positive effects, such as higher orders for certain products prior to Ramadan, and negative effects, such as logistics and fulfillment constraints due to a limited workforce during Ramadan.
In addition, any negative effects of weak overall demand during those periods are likely to be exacerbated by industry-wide price reductions designed to clear out excess merchandise. Seasonality also makes it difficult for us to accurately forecast demand for our goods and source sufficient volumes of these goods. If we fail to anticipate high demand for our goods and do not meet such demand, we may lose consumers and revenue and may be unable to grow our business. Our results of operations have fluctuated and are likely to continue to fluctuate due to these and other factors, some of which are beyond our control. Historically, our rapid growth has masked the seasonality that might otherwise be apparent in our results of operations. We expect that the seasonality in our business may become more pronounced in years when we experience slower growth.
Given that our results may vary from quarter to quarter and year to year, our results of operations for one quarter or year cannot necessarily be compared to another quarter or year and may not be indicative of our future financial performance in subsequent quarters or years. Period to period comparisons of our results of operations may not be meaningful, and you should not rely upon them as an indication of future performance.
Required licenses, permits or approvals may be difficult to obtain in the countries in which we currently operate, and once obtained may be amended or revoked arbitrarily or may not be renewed.
Given our diversified offering of goods and services, we require numerous approvals and licenses from national, regional, and local governmental or regulatory authorities in the countries in which we currently operate. For example, we may be required to obtain licenses to be able to continue offering or expand certain of our payment solutions or other financial services, or our logistics services, and there can be no assurance that we will obtain any such licenses in a timely manner or at all. Even if obtained, licenses are subject to review, interpretation, modification or termination by the relevant authorities.
Additionally, we do not have the licenses necessary to operate as a direct payment service provider in our markets other than Nigeria and Egypt. Instead, in those jurisdictions where such licenses are required, we typically seek to offer our JumiaPay services through agreements with existing licensed banks or payment service providers. If any of these partners were to lose their license, it might prohibit them from continuing to offer services and could inhibit our operations as well. Any unfavorable interpretation or modification of applicable license requirements or any termination of a required license may significantly harm our operations in the relevant country or may require us to close down parts or all of our operations in the relevant country. For example, the implementation as of January 1, 2021 of the Payment Systems and Services Act 2019 in Ghana and the National Payment Systems Act of 2020 implemented in Uganda introduced new licensing requirements applicable to JumiaPay and its partners. We may seek to acquire payment service provider or other licenses related to our JumiaPay services, including by acquiring licensed entities, and any license we may acquire will be subject to review, interpretation, modification or termination by the relevant authorities and will subject our business to oversight and compliance obligations that we may not be able address in a timely manner.
We can offer no assurance that the relevant authorities will not take any action that could materially and adversely affect these licenses, permits or approvals or our ability to sell goods and provide our services, such as actions to increase license, permit or approval fees or reduce the scope of permitted services. We may experience difficulties in obtaining or maintaining some of these licenses, approvals and permits, which may require us to undertake significant efforts and incur additional expenses. To the extent we operate without a license, we could be subject to fines, criminal prosecution or other legal action including suspension of our operations. For example, on September 15, 2022, the Uganda Communications Commission (“UCC”) published a statement claiming that online retailers including the Company are delivering or distributing postal articles without a license issued by the UCC in Uganda. The Company is currently working with the UCC to provide additional information to determine whether such license is required. Based on its current business model, the Company believes it is not required to obtain such license and has assessed the risk of ceasing operations or paying significant penalties is remote. Any difficulties in obtaining or maintaining licenses, approvals or permits or the amendment or revocation thereof could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Legal, Regulatory and Tax Risks
Our global operations involve additional risks, and we are subject to or may otherwise face exposure under numerous, complex and sometimes conflicting legal and regulatory regimes.
Our business is subject to numerous laws in different countries, including laws applicable to the e-commerce sector such as laws with respect to privacy, data protection and data security, online content and telecommunications and laws applicable to public companies in general, in particular laws with respect to intellectual property protection, local employment, tax, finance, money laundering, online payment, consumer protection, product liability and the labeling of our goods, competition, anti-corruption and international sanctions. Operating in foreign countries entails an inherent risk of misinterpreting and incorrectly implementing local laws and regulations. In addition, numerous laws and regulations apply to goods on our marketplace. Since we do not manufacture these goods ourselves, our ability to ensure that such goods comply with all applicable regulations is limited. A change in laws and regulations relating to consumer products, products liability or consumer protection in any of the markets in which we operate could require additional investments in order to develop better quality control measures for our platform, increase product safety, or defend against potential products liability litigation.
We cannot guarantee that we have always been in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations in the past, nor that we will be able to fully comply with them in the future. Additionally, we strive to obtain and retain all necessary business licenses, permissions and clearances in each of the countries in which we operate. However, we cannot guarantee that relevant regulators will agree with our position regarding the adequacy of our existing regulatory licenses and
permissions or our legal analyses concerning the requirement to obtain clearances, including anti-trust clearances. We take a dynamic approach with respect to compliance with applicable laws and regulations, relying on senior management, our internal legal department and our network of legal advisers in each jurisdiction where we operate to identify and interpret on an ongoing basis the laws and regulations that apply to our business activities. Uncertainties in the legal and regulatory framework may, from time to time, affect our judgment or the legal assessment and opinion of outside legal counsel and lead to incorrect risk-based judgments regarding the relevance of certain legal requirements. Additionally, at times we have failed to delist in a timely manner noncompliant products and sellers due to uncertainty regarding the legality or regulatory compliance of certain products. The violation of any of the laws or regulations applicable to us — including laws and regulations relating to consumer products, product liability or consumer protection — may result in litigation, criminal prosecution, damage claims from consumers, business partners and/or competitors or extensive investigations by governmental authorities and substantial fines being imposed on us. Even unfounded allegations of non-compliance may adversely affect our reputation and business.
Any changes in the legal framework applicable to our business could adversely affect our operations and profitability. If we continue to expand our business, we will become subject to new legal frameworks that are even more complex. The laws and regulations of various countries in which we currently operate or may operate in the future are evolving. Consequently, such laws and regulations may change and sometimes may conflict with each other, making it more difficult to observe them.
We are subject to governmental regulation and other legal obligations related to privacy, data protection and information security. If we are unable to comply with these, we may be subject to governmental enforcement actions, litigation, fines and penalties or adverse publicity.
For example, in Europe the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), which came into force on May 25, 2018, implemented stringent operational requirements for the use of personal data. These stringent requirements include expanded disclosures to inform consumers about the use of personal data, increased controls on profiling consumers and increased rights for consumers to access, control and delete their personal data. In addition, there are mandatory data breach notification requirements and significantly increased penalties of the greater of €20 million or 4% of global turnover for the preceding financial year. Additionally, the regulatory landscape surrounding data protection, data privacy and information security is rapidly changing across Africa. All countries in which we operate have personal data protection laws. Many of these data protection laws and regulations were only recently enacted and are constantly evolving. In some countries, data protection legislation is not yet fully resourced and operational. Our business collects personal data from users of our websites, customers, sellers, suppliers, contractors and other individuals. Compliance with nascent data protection regulations presents a challenge, particularly where practical guidelines on implementation of new legislation have not yet been issued.
Compliance with the various data protection laws in Africa is challenging due to the complex and sometimes contradictory nature of the different regulatory regimes. Because data protection regulations are not uniform among the various African nations in which we operate, our ability to transmit consumer information across borders is limited by our ability to comply with conditions and restrictions that vary from country to country. In countries with particularly strict data protection laws, we might not be able to transmit data out of the country at all and may be required to host individual servers in each such country where we collect data. In many countries relevant laws also require that a company notify consumers in the event of a personal data breach.
Moreover, many data protection regimes apply based on where a consumer is located, and as we expand and new laws are enacted or existing laws change, we may be subject to new laws, regulations or standards or new interpretations of existing laws, regulations or standards, including those in the areas of data security, data privacy and regulation of email providers and those that require localization of certain data, which could require us to incur additional costs and restrict our business operations.
Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with rapidly evolving privacy or security laws, policies, legal obligations or industry standards or any security incident that results in the unauthorized release or transfer of personally identifiable information or other consumer data may result in governmental enforcement actions, litigation (including consumer class actions), criminal prosecution, fines and penalties or adverse publicity and could cause our consumers to lose trust in us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may be adversely affected by changes in the regulations applicable to the use of the internet and the e-commerce sector.
As the internet continues to revolutionize commercial relationships on a global scale and online penetration increases, new laws and regulations relating to the use of the internet in general and the e-commerce sector in particular may be adopted. These laws and regulations may govern the collection, use and protection of data, consumer protection, online payments, pricing, anti-bribery, tax, country specific prices and website contents and other aspects relevant to our business. The adoption or modification of laws or regulations relating to our operations could adversely affect our business by increasing compliance costs, including as a result of confidentiality or security breaches in case of non-compliance, and administrative burdens. In particular, privacy related regulation could interfere with our strategy to collect and use personal information as part of our data-driven approach along the value chain. We must comply with applicable regulations in all of the countries in which we operate, and any non-compliance could lead to fines and other sanctions.
Changes to the regulation applicable to the use of the internet and the e-commerce sector could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
The legal and regulatory environment in certain countries in which we operate can be unstable, which may slow economic development.
Our business, and the goods and services we offer, are subject to a variety of legislative and regulatory measures in the countries in which we currently operate. Many of the countries in which we currently operate have a less established legal system than the United States.
Weaknesses in legal systems and legislation in many of these countries create uncertainty for investments and business due to changing requirements that may be costly, incoherent and contradictory, limited budgets for judicial systems, questionable judicial interpretations and/or inadequate regulatory regimes. These risks could have a negative impact on economic conditions in the countries in which we currently operate. These factors could also result in the interruption of certain of our businesses or an increase in operating expenses in the relevant countries. Changes in legislative and regulatory provisions in these countries, which we may not be able to anticipate, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Furthermore, government authorities have a high degree of discretion in many of the markets in which we currently operate, and have sometimes exercised their discretion in ways that may be perceived as selective or arbitrary, or in a manner that could be seen as being influenced by political or commercial considerations. Moreover, many of the governments in the countries in which we currently operate have the power in certain circumstances, by regulation or other government action, to interfere with the performance of contracts or to terminate them or declare them null and void. Governmental actions may include withdrawal of licenses, withholding of permits, criminal prosecutions and civil actions. In some countries, when the economic environment has deteriorated and in order to compensate for the resulting revenue shortages, authorities have imposed new regulations, in particular relating to tax and customs duties, sometimes unexpectedly. There is no guarantee that legislative authorities in the countries in which we currently operate will not pass new laws or regulations or amend existing laws and regulations in a manner that would significantly negatively impact our business model or may even render our business model no longer viable.
The weakness of the legal systems in the emerging countries in which we currently operate could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We do business in certain countries where corruption is considered to be widespread, and we are exposed to the risk of extortion and violation of anti-corruption laws and regulations.
Anti-corruption laws and regulations in force in many countries generally prohibit companies from making direct or indirect payments to civil servants, public officials or members of governments for the purpose of entering into or
maintaining business relationships. In addition, we are subject to certain provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (“FCPA”). The FCPA prohibits providing, offering, promising, or authorizing, directly or indirectly, anything of value to government officials, political parties, or political candidates for the purposes of obtaining or retaining business or securing any improper business advantage. We conduct business in, or may expand our business to, certain countries where there is a high risk of corruption and extortion and in some cases, where corruption and extortion are considered to be widespread and where our companies may have to obtain approvals, licenses, permits, or other regulatory approvals from public officials.
Therefore, we are exposed to the risk that our employees, consultants, agents, or other third parties working on our behalf, could make, offer, promise or authorize payments or other benefits in violation of anti-corruption laws and regulations, especially in response to demands or attempts at extortion. We have implemented prevention and training programs as well as internal policies and procedures designed to promote best practices and detect and prevent such violations. However, these prevention and training measures may prove to be insufficient, and our employees, consultants and agents may have been or could be engaged in activities for which we or the relevant officers could be held liable. We can make no assurance that the policies and procedures, even if enhanced, will be followed at all times or effectively detect and prevent all violations of the applicable laws and every instance of fraud, bribery and corruption.
In addition, some anti-corruption laws and regulations, including the FCPA, require that we maintain accurate books and records that reflect the disposition of company assets in reasonable detail, and that we implement appropriate internal controls, to ensure that our operations of do not involve corruption, illegal payments or extortion. The great diversity and complexity of these local laws and regulations and the decentralized nature of our business in various countries and markets create a risk that, in some instances, we may be deemed liable for violations of applicable laws and regulations, in particular, in connection with a failure to comply with those laws and regulations relating to books and records, financial reporting, or internal controls, among others.
Any actual or perceived violation or breach of these anti-corruption laws and regulations, including any potential governmental or internal investigations of perceived or actual misconduct, could affect our overall reputation and, depending on the case, expose us to administrative or judicial proceedings, which could result in criminal and civil judgments, including fines and monetary penalties, a possible prohibition on maintaining business relationships with suppliers or consumers in certain countries, and other negative consequences which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may face exposure under certain export controls and trade and economic sanctions laws and regulations that could impair our ability to compete in international markets and subject us to liability for non-compliance.
Our business activities may expose us to various trade and economic sanctions laws and regulations, including, without limitation, OFAC’s trade and economic sanctions programs (“Trade Controls”). In such circumstances, such Trade Controls may prohibit or restrict our ability to, directly or indirectly, conduct activities or dealings in or with certain countries that are the subject of comprehensive embargoes (i.e., sanctioned countries), as well as with individuals or entities that are the target of Trade Controls-related prohibitions and restrictions (i.e., sanctioned parties). Additionally, our sales and services to certain consumers may at times trigger reporting requirements under U.S. law.
Although we have implemented controls designed to ensure compliance with applicable Trade Controls, our failure to successfully comply therewith may expose us to negative legal and business consequences, potentially including civil or criminal penalties, government investigations, and financial and reputational harm, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Increased labor costs, compliance with labor laws and regulations and failure to maintain good relations with labor unions may adversely affect our results of operations.
We are required to comply with extensive labor regulations in each of the countries in which we have employees, including with respect to wages, social security benefits and termination payments. If we fail to comply with these regulations we may face labor claims and government fines, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. We use the services of freelancers to promote our offerings. There can be no guarantee that the relationship we have with these freelancers will not be viewed as an employment arrangement, which may lead to an increase in our personnel expenses.
Governments may adopt laws, regulations and other measures requiring companies in the private sector to increase wages and provide specified benefits to employees. For example, in Germany, a recent legislative initiative aims at broadening the employee representation at the supervisory board level. If legislation were enacted as proposed, up to half of the members of our supervisory board would be employee representatives. Additionally, although we currently compensate members of our JForce program as independent sales consultants, it is possible that certain jurisdictions may reclassify them as employees, which would require us to change their compensation and benefits structure. We may face pressure from our labor unions or otherwise to increase employee salaries, and we face the risk that other labor-related disputes may arise. Labor disputes that result in strikes or other disruptions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our risk management and compliance structure may prove inadequate.
We continue to implement a group-wide risk management and compliance program that is aimed at preventing corruption, fraud and other criminal or other forms of non-compliance by our management, employees, consultants, agents and sellers. Although we seek to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of this program and the frequency at which we perform systematic compliance checks, given the broad scope of our operations and, in particular, the fact that corruption and extortion are common in some countries in which we currently operate or in which we have operated in the past, such controls may prove to be insufficient to prevent or detect non-compliant conduct. Additionally, certain employees, consultants, agents or sellers may engage in illegal practices or corruption to win business or to conspire in order to circumvent our compliance controls. Similarly, we may fail to identify, mitigate or manage relevant risk exposures. For example, we have identified failures of our internal controls in the past, including fraudulent behavior by our independent JForce agents, employees and sellers, improper orders placed by employees and JForce agents and an allegation of fraudulent local management behavior in contravention of company policy with respect to cash management. While we have implemented improvements to, and routinely monitor, our internal controls at a country and group level, we cannot be sure that such internal control procedures will prove effective or that our policies will be followed.
Non-compliance with applicable laws and regulations may harm our reputation and ability to compete and result in legal action, criminal and civil sanctions, or administrative fines and penalties, such as a loss of business licenses or permits, against us, members of our governing bodies and our employees. They may also result in damage claims by third parties or other adverse effects, including class action lawsuits or enforcement actions by national and international regulators resulting in limitations to our business).
Any failure of our compliance structure to prevent or detect non-compliant behavior could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may not be able to adequately protect our intellectual property against infringements from third parties.
We believe that our intellectual property, including consumer data, copyrights, brands, trademarks, trade secrets and proprietary technology, is critical to our success. We have developed, and will continue to develop, a substantial quantity of proprietary software, processes and other know-how, including assortment related know-how, that are especially important to our operations. However, we may not be able to obtain effective protection for such intellectual property or other proprietary know-how in all relevant countries. If the laws and regulations applicable to our intellectual property change, this may make it even more difficult to effectively protect such intellectual property.
In addition, we may be required to spend significant funds on monitoring and protecting our intellectual property and there is no guarantee that we can successfully discover all infringements, misappropriations or other violations of our intellectual property and pursue them successfully. We provide certain information to third-party service providers who help us assess the performance of our business, such as Google Analytics. Consequently, we only have limited control to ensure that such information is not misused by the relevant third-party service providers or passed on to other third parties, including our competitors.
If we initiate litigation against infringements of our intellectual property, such litigation may prove costly and there is no guarantee that it will ultimately be successful and that the rulings we obtain will adequately remedy the damage we have suffered. Where we rely on contractual agreements to protect our intellectual property, such agreements may be found to be invalid or unenforceable. Furthermore, some of our intellectual property could be challenged or found invalid through administrative processes or litigation, and third parties may independently develop or otherwise acquire equivalent intellectual property.
An inability to adequately protect our intellectual property could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may be accused of infringing on the intellectual property of third parties.
As we utilize a variety of intellectual property for our business, consumers, regulatory authorities or other third parties may allege that intellectual property we use infringes on their intellectual property, and we may therefore become subject to allegations and litigation. Even unfounded allegations of infringement may adversely affect our reputation and business and may require significant resources to defend against. If we try to obtain licenses from such third parties to settle any disputes, there is no guarantee that such licenses will be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all, in which case we may be required to alter our brands or change the way we currently operate.
In addition, we may not be able to continue to market certain goods in instances where our suppliers manufacture these goods without regard for the intellectual property rights of third parties. Furthermore, some of the agreements we entered into with third parties may contain clauses regarding the protection of their intellectual property licensed to us. A violation of these clauses, such as the unauthorized sub licensing or disclosure of a confidential source code, may require us to pay significant penalties, prevent us from utilizing such intellectual property in the future and may result in litigation against us. Moreover, some of our proprietary technology was developed on the basis of licensed proprietary and non-proprietary software that we licensed from third parties. If these licenses were to be challenged or found invalid through litigation or other proceedings, we may be unable to continue utilizing such proprietary technology.
Any infringements on the intellectual property of third parties could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may be unable to acquire, utilize and maintain our domains and trademarks.
We have registered various word and figurative trademarks as well as internet domains and expect to register additional similar rights in the future. These rights are regulated by the relevant regulatory bodies and subject to trademark laws and other related laws in the countries in which we have registered them.
If we cannot obtain or maintain our existing or future word and figurative trademarks as well as internet domains on reasonable terms, we may be forced to incur significant additional expenses or be unable to operate our business as intended. Furthermore, the regulations governing domain names and laws protecting trademarks and similar proprietary rights could change (e.g., through the establishment of additional generic or country code top level domains or changes in registration processes), which may prevent us from using these rights as intended. In addition, we may not be able to prevent third parties from registering and utilizing domains and trademarks that interfere with those that we have registered.
An inability to maintain our domains and trademarks could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We may be involved in litigation or other proceedings that could adversely affect our business.
In the ordinary course of our business activities, we are regularly exposed to various litigation, particularly in the areas of product warranty, delays of payments or deliveries, competition law, intellectual property disputes, labor disputes and tax matters. Such litigation is subject to inherent uncertainties, and unfavorable rulings could require us to pay monetary damages or provide for an injunction prohibiting us from performing a critical activity, such as marketing certain goods. Even if legal claims brought against us are without merit, defending against such claims could be time-consuming and expensive and could divert management’s attention from other business concerns. Additionally, we may decide to settle such claims, which could prove expensive to us.
If we become involved in litigation or other proceedings, this could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We use standardized documents, contracts and terms and conditions, compounding the negative impact on our business if any clause is held to be void.
We use standardized documents, contracts and terms and conditions to govern our relationships with a large number of sellers and consumers. If such documents, contracts or terms and conditions are found to contain provisions that are interpreted in a manner disadvantageous to us, or if any clauses are held to be void and thereby replaced by statutory provisions that are disadvantageous to us, a large number of our contractual relationships could be affected.
In addition, standardized terms and conditions must comply with the statutory laws on general terms and conditions in the various countries in which we currently operate, which means that in many countries such standardized terms and conditions are subject to intense scrutiny by the courts or relevant authorities. We cannot guarantee that all standardized terms and conditions we use currently comply and will continue to comply with the relevant requirements. Even if terms and conditions are prepared with legal advice, it is impossible for us to guarantee that they are valid, given that changes may continue to occur in the laws applicable to such terms and conditions and/or their interpretation by the courts.
If clauses in our standardized documents, contracts or terms and conditions are found to be void, this could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We are subject to customs and foreign trade regulations that may require us to modify our current business practices and incur increased costs or could result in a delay in processing goods through customs, which may limit our growth and cause us to suffer reputational damage.
We import a large number of goods and services as part of our day-to-day business and such imports and exports may be subject to customs or foreign trade regulations. In addition, we rely on third parties, in particular our sellers, to make certain import, export or customs declarations and we therefore only have limited control over such declarations. Any non-compliance with customs or foreign trade regulations could lead to the imposition of fines or result in our goods being seized, in which case delivery of our goods may be delayed or fail entirely. If these laws or regulations were to change or were violated by our management, employees or sellers, we could experience delays in shipments of our goods, be subject to fines or penalties, or suffer reputational harm, which could reduce demand for our services and negatively impact our results of operations.
Legal requirements are frequently changed and subject to interpretation, and we are unable to predict the ultimate cost of compliance with these requirements or their effects on our operations. We may be required to make significant expenditures or modify our business practices to comply with existing or future laws and regulations, which may increase our costs and materially limit our ability to operate our business.
Our business depends on our ability to source and distribute goods in a timely manner. As a result, we rely on the free flow of goods through open and operational ports worldwide. Labor disputes or other disruptions at ports create significant risks for our business, particularly if work slowdowns, lockouts, strikes or other disruptions occur. Any of these factors could result in reduced sales or cancelled orders, which may limit our growth and damage our reputation and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Our business is subject to the general tax environment in the countries in which we currently operate, and any changes to this tax environment may increase our tax burden.
Our business is subject to the general tax environment in the countries in which we currently operate. Our ability to use tax loss carryforwards and other favorable tax provisions depends on national tax laws and their interpretation in these countries. Changes in tax legislation, administrative practices or case law could increase our tax burden and such changes might even occur retroactively. Furthermore, tax laws may be interpreted differently by the competent tax authorities and courts, and their interpretation may change at any time, which could lead to an increase of our tax burden. For example, in a number of countries, tax authorities seek to characterize income from the provision of services as royalties under their domestic legislation and/or tax treaties, which would lead to the imposition of withholding tax and may significantly increase our tax burden. In addition, legislators and tax authorities have changed or may change territoriality rules or their interpretation for the application of value-added tax (“VAT”) on cross border services, which could lead to significant additional payments for past and future periods. In addition, court decisions are sometimes ignored by competent tax authorities or overruled by higher courts, which could lead to higher legal and tax advisory costs and create significant uncertainty.
Tax authorities in various countries are currently reviewing the appropriate treatment of e-commerce activities. Recently, several countries in Africa have imposed new, or increased existing, taxes on e-commerce and mobile services. For example, in 2018, Uganda imposed a daily tax of 200 Uganda shillings (equivalent to $0.05) on Over-the-Top (“OTT”) services including Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. Users who fail to make this daily payment are unable to access the designated OTT services. Additionally, Uganda imposed a new mobile money transfer tax in 2018. The tax, originally introduced as a 1% tax on receiving payments and withdrawals, was later reduced to a 0.5% tax on withdrawals only. The Ivory Coast imposed a similar 0.5% tax on mobile money transfers in January 2018. Lastly, Kenya has been taxing mobile money transfers for several years and increased its mobile money transfer tax from 10% to 12% in late 2018 and in 2021, the Digital Services Tax at a rate of 1.5% of gross transactional value was effected in Kenya. It is possible that other African countries will enact new taxes on OTT services, mobile money transfers or other e-commerce and mobile services or that countries with existing e-commerce and mobile service taxes will raise their current tax rates. Existing or new e-commerce and mobile service taxes may increase the cost of mobile phone usage and data plans for consumers, which may discourage mobile phone usage or slow the rate of mobile phone adoption across our markets. Additionally, taxes on mobile money transfers may increase the costs associated with and discourage the use of JumiaPay.
Moreover, due to the global nature of our e-commerce business, various countries might attempt to levy additional sales, income or other taxes relating to our activities. Such new tax regulation may subject us or our consumers to additional taxes, which would increase our tax burden and may reduce the attractiveness of our online offering. In certain countries in which we operate, VAT rates are especially high. For example, the VAT is 20% in Morocco and 18% in Ivory Coast. In such countries, we face the risk that organizational sellers on our marketplace may attempt to transact as individual sellers in order to avoid the responsibility of collecting VAT. Sellers may also seek to structure their operations in a way that facilitates the non-payment of VAT. New taxes could also result in additional costs necessary to collect the data required to assess these taxes and to remit them to the relevant tax authorities.
In some of the countries in which we currently operate, tax authorities may also use the tax system to advance their agenda and may exercise their discretion in ways that may be perceived as selective or arbitrary, or in a manner that could be seen as being influenced by political or commercial considerations. Accordingly, we may face unfounded tax claims in such countries.
We are subject to audits by tax officials in various jurisdictions in which we operate. For example, in Germany, the authorities challenged the status of some of the Group’s German partnerships as entrepreneurs. A loss of such entrepreneur status would have resulted in substantial additional VAT assessments. We have reached a joint understanding with the competent tax authorities, according to which the German partnerships in question should be regarded as entrepreneurs, provided certain conditions are met. We cannot guarantee that the tax authorities will not change their view on the status of such partnerships for past or future periods. While we are making good progress toward meeting these conditions, any failure to meet them in a timely manner, or any changes in the tax authorities’ view, may result in substantial additional VAT assessments.
We are also in ongoing discussions with the German authorities regarding corporate income tax treatment of services rendered by these partnerships. While we believe the position of the German tax authorities on this issue is not correct and would not be successful if challenged in court, we may be required to pay additional corporate income taxes in an upper single to very low double digit euro million amount if the tax authorities’ view were to prevail and have taken provisions accordingly. See also Note 29 to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report.
Taxes actually assessed in future tax audits for periods not yet covered by this last tax audit may exceed the taxes already paid by us. As a result, we may be required to make significant additional tax payments with respect to previous periods. Furthermore, the competent tax authorities could revise their original tax assessments (e.g., with respect to the recognition of invoiced value added taxes). Any tax assessments that deviate from our expectations could lead to an increase in our tax burden. In addition, we may be required to pay interest on these additional taxes as well as late filing penalties.
Changes in the tax environment and future tax audits could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Certain of our cross-border business dealings may trigger unforeseen adverse tax consequences.
We are an internationally operating enterprise continuously engaged in cross-border business dealings which may trigger unforeseen adverse tax consequences in Germany and abroad, in particular with respect to transfer pricing and double taxation issues. While our business operations focus on three regions in Africa, our Company is incorporated in Germany and we manage our operations on a decentralized basis. Our technology and data team is predominantly located in Portugal. The decentralized nature of our organization may lead to interpretative questions by tax authorities as to where we have to pay taxes on our income or assets. Any reassessment of our current status could lead to substantial tax claims and/or costly and time consuming administrative and legal proceedings.
This high degree of interconnectivity necessitates the cross-border transfer of certain goods and services including services, from and between us, our subsidiaries and affiliates. Tax authorities often challenge the prices charged for intra-group services. Past and current intra-group transfer prices, particularly those for services rendered by the Company, including the provision of technology, management services, personnel or financing could be deemed to not be at arm’s length.
Additionally, in light of the fact that these intra-group services are usually not offered to third parties, it may become difficult for us to mitigate intra-group transfer price risks by documenting the prices, particularly paid in comparable transactions by or with independent third parties. The preparation of customary transfer price documentation may also be delayed due to the need to hire an external advisory team with the resources to prepare such transfer price documentation for us.
In addition, we may be unaware of or infringe upon tariffs, quotas, customs and export control regulations, trading bans or similar restrictions, thereby creating exposure to the risk of fines and sanctions.
The materialization of any of the risks described above could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We are subject to tax laws and regulations in Germany and numerous other countries. Our tax burden may increase as a consequence of future tax treatment of dividend payments, non-deductibility of interest payments, current or future tax assessments or court proceedings based on changes in domestic or foreign tax laws and double taxation treaties or changes in the application or interpretation thereof. We agreed to indemnify the former members of our management board against tax liabilities of up to €40 million.
We are a German tax resident and, accordingly, subject to the tax laws and regulations of Germany. We operate in a number of African countries and have shared service centers in certain European countries as well as in the United Arab Emirates, subjecting several of our entities to the tax laws of these countries. Our tax burden depends on various aspects of tax laws and regulations including double taxation treaties as well as their respective application and interpretation. Amendments to tax laws and double taxation treaties, for example, an increase of statutory tax rates or the limitation of double tax relief, may have a retroactive effect, and their application or interpretation by tax authorities or courts is subject to change and may cause an increase in our tax burden. Furthermore, tax authorities occasionally limit court decisions to their specific facts by way of non-application decrees. This may also increase our tax burden.
Prior to the completion of our initial public offering in April 2019, we streamlined our group structure by exchanging interests held by current or former members of management, employees, supporters or business partners in our subsidiaries into shares of the Company. While we do not believe that these transactions triggered adverse tax consequences for which we are liable, there is no guarantee that tax authorities will agree with this assessment.
We agreed to indemnify the former members of the management board against income tax liabilities they may incur with respect to income received from us, including from share-based payment instruments, in excess of a total tax liability of 25% of the relevant income in countries where they do not have their primary residence up to a total amount of €40 million. This commitment was not renewed for the new members of the management board appointed on November 5, 2022. For more information, see Item 6. "Directors, Senior Management and Employees—B. Compensation—Compensation of the Members of our Management Board and Senior Management.
As a holding company, our ability to distribute dividends depends largely on dividend payments made by our subsidiaries. Among other things, these intra-group distributions are subject to withholding tax (Kapitalertragsteuer) on
multiple intra-group levels. No assurance can be given that the taxation of intra-group distributions may not negatively affect our ability to pay dividends in the future.
Thin-capitalization rules in various countries restrict the tax deductibility of interest expenses and the possibility of companies to carry forward non-deducted interest expenses to future assessment periods. As the interpretation of these rules is not entirely clear in many countries, it cannot be ruled out that the competent tax authorities will take a different view regarding the tax deductibility of interest expenses than our entities.
Our entities are or may become party to tax proceedings. The outcome of such tax proceedings may not be predictable and may be detrimental to us.
The materialization of any of the risks described above could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Economic challenges faced by governments, including due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may lead to an increase in our tax burden.
Governments may seek to find additional financing, including due to economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, governments may seek to impose additional tax burdens on us. For example, tax authorities may state that platform owners are responsible to account for and pay VAT or sales tax for the goods and services traded via their platform. Jumia is currently engaged in active discussions with the tax authorities in several countries regarding VAT or sales tax collection for the goods and services traded via its platform. There is no guarantee that the authorities will maintain the position that we are not responsible to account for and pay VAT for the goods and services traded via our marketplace for the prior periods. New regulations have been adopted in several African countries about e-invoicing and/or non-resident VAT obligations which has increased our cost of tax compliance and may lead to an increase of our overall tax burden.
Risks Related to the Ownership of our ADSs
Investor perceptions of risks in emerging economies could reduce investor appetite for investments in these countries or for the securities of issuers operating in these countries.
Investing in securities of issuers in emerging markets generally involves a higher degree of risk than investing in securities of corporate or sovereign issuers from more developed countries. Economic crises in one or more emerging market countries may reduce overall investor appetite for securities of emerging market issuers generally, even for emerging market issuers located outside the regions directly affected by the crises. Past economic crises in emerging markets, such as in South America and Russia, have often resulted in significant outflows of international capital from emerging markets and caused emerging market issuers to face higher costs for raising funds, and in some cases have effectively impeded access to international capital markets for extended periods.
Thus, even if the economies of the countries in which we operate remain relatively stable, financial turmoil in any emerging market country could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
The market price of our ADSs has fluctuated significantly in the past and may continue to do so in the future and any such fluctuations could result in substantial losses for holders of our ADSs.
The market price of our ADSs is affected by the supply and demand for our ADSs, which may be influenced by numerous factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:
•fluctuation in actual or projected results of operations;
•changes in projected earnings or failure to meet securities analysts’ earnings expectations;
•the absence of analyst coverage;
•negative analyst recommendations;
•changes in trading volumes in our ADSs;
•changes in our shareholder structure;
•changes in macroeconomic conditions including changes in foreign exchange rates and periods of inflation;
•the activities of competitors and sellers;
•changes in the market valuations of comparable companies;
•changes in investor and analyst perception with respect to our business or the e-commerce industry in general; and
•changes in the statutory framework applicable to our business.
As a result, the market price of our ADSs may be subject to substantial fluctuation.
General market conditions and fluctuation of share prices and trading volumes could lead to pressure on the market price of our ADSs, even if there may not be a reason for this based on our business performance or earnings outlook. In addition, prices for e-commerce or technology companies have traditionally been more volatile compared to share prices for companies from other industries. The market price of our ADSs has fluctuated substantially in the past. The market prices of our ADSs may continue to fluctuate substantially in the future.
Any fluctuations in the market price of our ADSs as a result of the realization of any of these risks, investors could lose part or all of their investment in our ADSs. Additionally, in the past, when the market price of a stock has been volatile, holders of that stock have sometimes instituted securities class action litigation against the company that issued the shares. These lawsuits may result in substantial expenses and could also divert the time and attention of our management board from our business, which could significantly harm our profitability and reputation.
We do not expect to pay any dividends in the foreseeable future.
We have not yet paid any dividends to our shareholders and do not currently intend to pay dividends for the foreseeable future. Under German corporate law, dividends may only be distributed from our net retained profit (Bilanzgewinn). The net retained profit is calculated based on our unconsolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with German generally accepted accounting principles of the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch). Such accounting principles differ from International Financial Reporting Standards, as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board, in material respects.
Our ability to pay dividends therefore depends upon the availability of sufficient net retained profits. In addition, future financing arrangements may contain covenants that impose restrictions on our business and on our ability to pay dividends under certain circumstances.
Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our management board and will depend upon our results of operations, financial condition, contractual restrictions, including restrictions imposed by existing or future financing agreements, restrictions imposed by applicable laws and other factors management deems relevant.
Consequently, we may not pay dividends in the foreseeable future, or at all, and any return on investment in our ADSs is solely dependent upon the appreciation of the price of our ADSs on the open market, which may not occur. See “Dividend Policy.”
As in prior periods, we and our auditor have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting related to 2022. Our failure to correct these control deficiencies or our failure to discover and address any other control deficiencies could result in inaccuracies in our financial statements.
Our management, including our chief executive officer and executive vice president, finance & operations, and our auditor have concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2022 due to the presence of material weaknesses resulting from:
•lack of sufficient corporate finance and accounting personnel to assess appropriate accounting, classification and disclosure of certain financial statement information, which lead to the correction of our financial statements, including the restatement of our 2021 statement of operations and footnote 13 to the consolidated financial statements.
•inadequate design of controls around payments to vendors.
•insufficient personnel resources to ensure the consistent and timely execution of user access controls.
•lack of sufficiently robust, timely documentation to evidence the procedures performed and conclusions reached by the owners of controls related to certain classes of transactions.
A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the company’s annual or interim consolidated financial statements may not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.
Notwithstanding these material weaknesses, our management, based on the substantial work performed, concluded that our consolidated financial statements for the periods covered by and included in this Annual Report are fairly stated in all material respects in accordance with IFRS.
As of December 31, 2021, we had identified a material weakness related to the lack of sufficient corporate finance and accounting personnel with technical expertise to evaluate the impact of complex provisions in our share-based payment plans on our accounting. In 2022, we made a significant effort to improve and strengthen our internal controls to remedy the material weakness that existed as of December 31, 2021. As a result of our efforts over the past year, this deficiency has been remediated.
Additional effort is necessary to strengthen our internal controls. We intend to increase internal resources to strengthen the quality of technical analysis of classification and disclosure of certain financial statement information. We intend to commence a staged deployment of an integrated vendor payout process to reduce the risk of misappropriation of payment and automate certain aspects of our vendor payout system. We intend as well to increase our internal resources dedicated to access management and strengthen our access management controls to allow for more consistent and timely execution of control procedures. Finally, we intend to expand and refine our controls documentation. However, we cannot guarantee that our efforts will be sufficient to remediate these material weaknesses or that material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting will not be identified in the future. Our failure to correct these control deficiencies or our failure to discover and address any other control deficiencies could result in inaccuracies in our financial statements and impair our ability to comply with applicable financial reporting requirements and related regulatory filings on a timely basis.
If we fail to implement and maintain an effective system of internal controls over financial reporting, we may be unable to accurately report our results of operations, meet our reporting obligations or prevent fraud.
Since our initial public offering in 2019, we have been a public company in the United States subject to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that we include a report from management on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in our annual report on Form 20-F. As a result, we are required to disclose changes made in our internal controls and procedures and our management is required to assess the effectiveness of these controls annually. In addition, our independent registered public accounting firm must attest to and report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Our management, including our chief executive officer and executive vice president, finance & operations, concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2022 due to the presence of material weaknesses. Our reporting obligations may place a significant strain on our management, operational and financial resources and systems for the foreseeable future. We may be unable to timely complete our evaluation testing and any identified remediation.
During the course of documenting and testing our internal control procedures in the future, we may identify other weaknesses and deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting. In addition, if we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal control over financial reporting, as these standards are modified, supplemented or amended from time to time, we may not be able to conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. If we fail to achieve and maintain an effective internal control environment, we could suffer material misstatements in our financial statements and fail to meet our reporting obligations, which would likely cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information. This could, in turn, limit our access to capital markets, harm our results of operations, and lead to a decline in the trading price of the ADSs. Additionally, ineffective internal control over financial reporting could expose us to increased risk of fraud or misuse of corporate assets and subject us to potential delisting from the stock exchange on which we list, regulatory investigations and civil or criminal sanctions. We may also be required to restate our financial statements for prior periods.
Future offerings of debt or equity securities by us could adversely affect the market price of our ADSs, and future issuances of equity securities could lead to a substantial dilution of our shareholders.
We may require additional capital in the future to finance our business operations and growth. The Company may seek to raise such capital through the issuance of additional ADSs or debt securities with conversion rights (e.g., convertible bonds and option rights). An issuance of additional ADSs or debt securities with conversion rights could potentially reduce the market price of our ADSs and the Company currently cannot predict the amounts and terms of such future offerings.
If such offerings of equity or debt securities with conversion rights are made without granting subscription rights to our existing shareholders, these offerings would dilute the economic and voting rights of our existing shareholders. In addition, such dilution may arise from the acquisition or investments in companies in exchange, fully or in part, for newly issued ADSs, options granted to our business partners or from the exercise of stock options by our employees in the context of existing or future stock option programs or the issuance of ADSs to employees in the context of existing or future employee participation programs.
Any future issuance of ADSs could reduce the market price of our ADSs and dilute the holdings of existing shareholders.
The sale or availability for sale of substantial amounts of the ADSs could adversely affect their market price.
Sales of substantial amounts of the ADSs in the public market, or the perception that these sales could occur, could adversely affect the market price of the ADSs and could materially impair our ability to raise capital through equity offerings in the future. We cannot predict what effect, if any, market sales of securities held by our shareholders or the availability of these securities for future sale will have on the market price of the ADSs.
An investment in our ADSs by an investor whose principal currency is not the US dollar may be affected by exchange rate fluctuation.
Our ADSs are, and any dividends to be paid in respect of them will be, denominated in US dollars. An investment in our ADSs by an investor whose principal currency is not the US dollar will expose such investor to exchange rate risks. Any depreciation of the US dollar in relation to the principal currency of the respective investor will reduce the value of the investment in our ADSs or any dividends in relation to such currency.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the market price for our ADSs and trading volume could decline.
The trading market for our ADSs depends in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. If securities or industry analyst coverage results in downgrades of our ADSs or publishes inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our ADS price will likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of us or fail to publish reports on us regularly, we could lose visibility in the financial markets and demand for our ADSs could decrease, which, in turn, could cause the market price or trading volume for our ADSs to decline significantly.
Investors may have difficulty enforcing civil liabilities against us or the members of our management and supervisory boards.
We are incorporated in Germany and conduct substantially all of our operations in Africa through our subsidiaries. In total, five members of our management board and supervisory board are non-residents of the United States. The majority of our assets and the assets of half of the members of our management board and supervisory board are located outside the United States. As a result, it may not be possible, or may be very difficult, to serve process on company representatives or the company in the United States, or to enforce judgments obtained in U.S. courts against company representatives or the company based on civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States.
There is no treaty between the United States and Germany for the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments (other than arbitration awards) in civil and commercial matters. Therefore, a final judgment for the payment of money rendered by any federal or state court in the United States based on civil liability, whether or not predicated solely
upon the U.S. federal securities laws, would not be enforceable in Germany unless the underlying claim is re-litigated before a German court of competent jurisdiction.
Based on the foregoing, there can be no assurance that U.S. investors will be able to enforce any judgments obtained in U.S. courts in civil and commercial matters, including judgments under the U.S. federal securities laws, against us, members of our management board and supervisory board, or our senior management. In addition, there is doubt as to whether a German court would impose civil liability on us, the members of our management and supervisory board or our senior management in an original action predicated solely upon the U.S. federal securities laws brought in a court of competent jurisdiction in Germany against us or such members, respectively.
Holders of our ADSs may be subject to limitations on transfer of their ADSs.
Our ADSs are transferable on the books of the depositary. However, the depositary may close its transfer books at any time or from time to time when it deems expedient in connection with the performance of its duties. In addition, the depositary may refuse to deliver, transfer or register transfers of ADSs generally when our books or the books of the depositary are closed, or at any time if we or the depositary deems it advisable to do so because of any requirement of law or of any government or governmental body, or under any provision of the deposit agreement, or for any other reason.
The exercise of voting rights of holders of our ADSs is limited by the terms of the deposit agreement.
For so long as holders of our ADSs do not convert their ADSs into ordinary shares, they may not attend our shareholder’s meetings and may exercise their voting rights with respect to the ordinary shares underlying their ADSs only in accordance with the provisions of the deposit agreement. Upon receipt of voting instructions from a holder of our ADSs in the manner set forth in the deposit agreement, the depositary for our ADSs will endeavor to vote such holder’s underlying ordinary shares in accordance with these instructions. Under our articles of association, the minimum notice period required for convening a shareholders’ meeting corresponds to the statutory minimum period, which is currently 36 days. When a shareholders’ meeting is convened, a holder of our ADSs may not receive sufficient notice of a shareholders’ meeting to permit such holder to withdraw its ordinary shares to allow the holder to cast its vote with respect to any specific matter at the meeting. In addition, the depositary and its agents may not be able to send voting instructions to a holder of our ADSs or carry out such holder’s voting instructions in a timely manner. We will make all reasonable efforts to cause the depositary to extend voting rights to a holder of our ADSs in a timely manner, but such holder may not receive the voting materials in time to ensure that such holder can instruct the depositary to vote its shares. Furthermore, the depositary and its agents will not be responsible for any failure to carry out any instructions to vote, for the manner in which any vote is cast or for the effect of any such vote. As a result, a holder of our ADSs may not be able to exercise its right to vote and may lack recourse if the ordinary shares are not voted as requested by such holder.
The rights of shareholders in companies subject to German corporate law differ in material respects from the rights of shareholders of corporations incorporated in the United States.
We are a stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft) incorporated under German law. Our corporate affairs are governed by our articles of association and by the laws governing stock corporations incorporated in Germany. The rights of shareholders and the responsibilities of members of our management board and supervisory board may be different from the rights and obligations of shareholders in companies governed by the laws of U.S. jurisdictions and the management or directors of those corporations. In the performance of their duties, our management board and supervisory board are required by German law to consider the interests of our company, its shareholders, its employees and other stakeholders. It is possible that some of these parties will have interests that are different from, or in addition to, your interests as an ADS holder.
German and European insolvency laws are substantially different from U.S. insolvency laws and may offer our shareholders less protection than they would have under U.S. insolvency laws.
As a company with its registered office in Germany, we are subject to German insolvency laws in the event any insolvency proceedings are initiated against us including, among other things, Regulation (EU) 2015/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 20, 2015 on insolvency proceedings. Should courts in another European country determine that the insolvency laws of that country apply to us in accordance with and subject to such EU regulations, the courts in that country could have jurisdiction over the insolvency proceedings initiated against us. Insolvency laws in Germany or the relevant other European country, if any, may offer our shareholders less protection than they would have
under U.S. insolvency laws and make it more difficult for our shareholders to recover the amount they could expect to recover in a liquidation under U.S. insolvency laws.
As a foreign private issuer, we are not subject to U.S. proxy rules and are subject to Exchange Act reporting obligations that, to some extent, are more lenient and less frequent than those of a U.S. domestic public company.
As of the date of this Annual Report, we report under the Exchange Act as a non-U.S. company with foreign private issuer status. Because we qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act and although we are subject to German laws and regulations with regard to such matters and intend to furnish quarterly trading updates and half year interim reports to the SEC, we are exempt from certain provisions of the Exchange Act that are applicable to U.S. domestic public companies, including (1) the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act, (2) the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their share ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time and (3) the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q containing unaudited financial and other specified information, although we intend to provide certain quarterly information on Form 6-K. In addition, foreign private issuers are not required to file their annual report on Form 20-F until 120 days after the end of each fiscal year, while U.S. domestic issuers that are accelerated filers are required to file their annual report on Form 10-K within 75 days after the end of each fiscal year and U.S. domestic issuers that are large accelerated filers are required to file their annual report on Form 10-K within 60 days after the end of each fiscal year. Foreign private issuers are also exempt from Regulation FD, which is intended to prevent issuers from making selective disclosures of material information. As a result of all of the above, holders of our ADSs may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of a company that is not a foreign private issuer.
We may lose our foreign private issuer status in the future, which could result in significant additional costs and expenses.
As discussed above, we are a foreign private issuer, and therefore, we are not required to comply with all of the periodic disclosure and current reporting requirements of the Exchange Act. The determination of foreign private issuer status is made annually on the last business day of an issuer’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, and, accordingly, the next determination will be made with respect to us on June 30, 2023.
In the future, we would lose our foreign private issuer status if (1) more than 50% of our outstanding voting securities are owned by U.S. residents and (2) a majority of our directors or executive officers are U.S. citizens or residents, or we fail to meet additional requirements necessary to avoid loss of foreign private issuer status. If we lose our foreign private issuer status, we will be required to file with the SEC periodic reports and registration statements on U.S. domestic issuer forms, which are more detailed and extensive than the forms available to a foreign private issuer. We will also have to mandatorily comply with U.S. federal proxy requirements, and our officers, directors and principal shareholders will become subject to the short-swing profit disclosure and recovery provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act. In addition, we will lose our ability to rely upon exemptions from certain corporate governance requirements under the listing rules of the NYSE. As a U.S. listed public company that is not a foreign private issuer, we would incur significant additional legal, accounting and other expenses that we would not incur as a foreign private issuer. These expenses would relate to, among other things, the obligation to present our financial information in accordance with U.S. GAAP in the future. Additionally, a loss of our foreign private issuer status would divert our management’s attention from other business concerns, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
As we are a foreign private issuer and intend to follow certain home country corporate governance practices, holders of our ADSs may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of companies that are subject to all NYSE corporate governance requirements.
As a foreign private issuer, we have the option to follow certain home country corporate governance practices rather than those of the NYSE, provided that we disclose the requirements we are not following and describe the home country practices we are following. The standards applicable to us are considerably different than the standards applied to domestic U.S. issuers. For instance, we are not required to:
•have a majority of the board be independent (although all of the members of the audit committee must be independent under the Exchange Act);
•have a compensation committee or a nominating or corporate governance committee consisting entirely of independent directors;
•have regularly scheduled executive sessions with only independent directors; or
•adopt and disclose a code of ethics for directors, officers and employees.
We have relied on and intend to continue to rely on some of these exemptions. As a result, holders of our ADSs may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of companies that are subject to all NYSE corporate governance requirements.
The interpretation of the treatment of ADSs by the German tax authorities is subject to change.
The specific treatment of ADSs under German tax law is based on administrative provisions by the fiscal authorities, which are not codified law and are subject to change. Tax authorities may modify their interpretation and the current treatment of ADSs may change, as the circular issued by the German Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF-Schreiben), dated November 8, 2017, reference number IV C 1 – S 1980-1/16/10010 :010 (as amended), shows. According to this circular, ADSs are not treated as capital participation (Kapitalbeteiligung) within the meaning of Section 2 para. 8 of the Investment Tax Code (Investmentsteuergesetz). Such changes in the interpretation by the fiscal authorities may have adverse effects on the taxation of investors.
We may become a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”), which could result in adverse United States federal income tax consequences to United States investors.
We believe we were not a PFIC in the prior taxable year and do not expect to become a PFIC in the current taxable year or the foreseeable future. However, the determination of whether or not we are a PFIC is made on an annual basis and will depend on the composition of our income and assets from time to time. Specifically, we will be classified as a PFIC for United States federal income tax purposes if either: (1) 75% or more of our gross income in a taxable year is passive income, or (2) the average percentage of our assets by value in a taxable year which produce or are held for the production of passive income (which includes cash) is at least 50%. It is therefore possible that we could become a PFIC in a future taxable year. In addition, our current expectation regarding our PFIC status is based in part upon the value of our goodwill which is based on the market value for our shares and ADSs, and in part on the rate at which our cash and cash equivalents are spent. Accordingly, we could become a PFIC in the future if there is a substantial decline in the value of our shares and ADSs or we spend our cash or cash equivalents at a slower rate than expected.
If we are or were to become a PFIC, such characterization could result in adverse United States federal income tax consequences to a holder of our ADSs if such holder is a United States investor. For example, if we are a PFIC, our United States investors will become subject to increased tax liabilities under United States federal income tax laws and regulations and will become subject to burdensome reporting requirements. We cannot assure that we will not be a PFIC for our current taxable year or any future taxable year.
Item 4. Information on the Company
A. History and Development of the Company
Corporate History and Recent Transactions
We were incorporated on June 26, 2012 as a limited liability company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) under German law. On December 17 and 18, 2018, our shareholders resolved upon the change of our legal form into a German stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft) and the change of our company name to Jumia Technologies AG. The change of our legal form and company name became effective upon registration with the commercial register (Handelsregister) of the local court (Amtsgericht) in Berlin, Germany, on January 31, 2019. The legal effect of the conversion on Africa Internet Holding GmbH under German law is limited to the change in the legal form. Africa Internet Holding GmbH was neither dissolved nor wound up, but continues its existence as the same legal entity with a new legal form and name. Our agent for service of process in the United States is Puglisi & Associates, 850 Library Avenue, Suite 204, Newark, Delaware 19711.
As appropriate opportunities present themselves, we have pursued and, in the future, we intend to continue to pursue additional dispositions and other strategic growth opportunities and initiatives that we believe are strategic and will be accretive to earnings.
On April 12, 2019, our ADSs, each representing two of our ordinary shares, commenced trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “JMIA.” Concurrently with our initial public offering, Mastercard purchased from us €50.0 million of our ordinary shares in a private placement. We received approximately US$280.2 million in net proceeds from our initial public offering and corresponding private placement with Mastercard and issuance of shares to existing shareholders, after deducting underwriting commissions and discounts and the offering expenses payable by us.
In December 2020, we completed an equity offering. We received approximately $231.4 million in net proceeds from our equity offering, after deducting underwriting commissions and discounts and the offering expenses, payable by us. In March 2021, we completed a second equity offering. We received approximately $341.0 million in net proceeds from this second equity offering, after deducting underwriting commissions and discounts and the offering expenses, payable by us.
We are registered with the commercial register (Handelsregister) of the local court (Amtsgericht) in Berlin, Germany, under number HRB 203542 B. Our principal executive offices are located at Skalitzer Straße 104, 10997 Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany (“Germany”). Our telephone number is +49 (30) 398 20 34 54.
The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, such as us, that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov. Our website address is https://group.jumia.com. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report, and you should not consider any information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website as part of this Annual Report or in deciding whether to purchase our ADSs.
B. Business Overview
Our mission is to improve the quality of everyday life in Africa by leveraging technology to deliver innovative, convenient and affordable online services to consumers, while helping businesses grow as they use our platform to reach and serve consumers.
We are the leading pan-African e-commerce platform. Our platform consists of our marketplace, which connects sellers with consumers, our logistics service, which enables the shipment and delivery of packages from sellers to consumers, and our payment service, JumiaPay, which, together with its network of licensed payment service providers and other partners, facilitates transactions among participants active on our platform in selected markets.
We are active in three regions in Africa, which consist of 11 countries that together accounted for approximately 70% of Africa’s GDP of $3.0 trillion in 2022, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund. Though still nascent, we believe that e-commerce in Africa is well positioned to grow.
We intend to benefit from the expected growth of e-commerce in Africa through the investments that we have made and the extensive local expertise that we have developed since our founding in 2012. Through our operations, we have developed a deep understanding of the economic, technical, geographic and cultural complexities that are unique to Africa, and which vary from country to country. We believe that our deep understanding has enabled us to create solutions that address the needs and preferences of our sellers and consumers in the most comprehensive and efficient way. We possess extensive local knowledge of the logistics and payment landscapes in the markets in which we operate, which we consider to be a key component of the success of our company. In addition, we take full advantage of the mobile-centric aspects of the African market, having adopted a “mobile-first” approach in our product development and marketing efforts,
which allows us to expand the audience for our goods and services, increase engagement and conversion and reduce our consumer acquisition costs.
On our marketplace, a large and diverse group of over 100 thousand sellers offer goods across a wide range of categories, such as fashion and apparel, beauty and personal care, home and living, fast moving consumer goods, smartphones and other electronics. We also provide consumers in selected markets with easy access to a range of on-demand services via our Jumia Food platform, including delivery, from restaurants, grocery shops and convenience outlets. On our JumiaPay app, we offer a number of digital lifestyle services including utility bills payment, airtime recharge, gaming and entertainment, transport ticketing as well as financial services such as micro-loans, insurance or savings products. We had 8.4 million Annual Active Consumers as of December 31, 2022. We believe that the number and quality of sellers on our marketplace, and the breadth of their respective offerings, attract more consumers to our platform, increasing traffic and orders, which in turn attracts even more sellers to Jumia, creating powerful network effects. Our marketplace operates with limited inventory risk, as the goods sold via our marketplace are predominantly sold by third-party sellers, meaning the cost and risk of inventory remains with the seller. In 2022, almost 80% of the items sold on our marketplace were offered by third-party sellers.
Our logistics service, Jumia Logistics, facilitates the delivery of goods in a convenient and reliable way. It consists of a large network of leased warehouses, pick up stations for consumers and drop-off locations for sellers and a significant number of local third-party logistics service providers, whom we integrate and manage through our proprietary technology, data and processes. In certain cities, where we believe it is beneficial to enhance our logistics service, we also operate our own last-mile fleet.
Traditionally, consumers across Africa rely on cash to transact. We have designed our payment service, JumiaPay, to facilitate cashless online transactions between participants on our platform, with the intention of integrating additional financial services in the future. JumiaPay encompasses a number of functionalities. JumiaPay, with its network of licensed payment service providers and other partners, provides digital payment processing on our platform allowing for a fast and secure payment experience at checkout. JumiaPay also has a dedicated payment app, the JumiaPay app, through which we offer consumers a number of digital lifestyle services from a broad range of third-party service providers. Lastly, through Jumia Lending, our sellers can access financing solutions provided by third-party financial institutions, leveraging data from the sellers’ transactional activity on our platform for credit scoring purposes. As of December 31, 2022, one or more JumiaPay services were available in eight markets: Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and Uganda. JumiaPay Transactions and Total Payment Volume (“TPV”) have both increased substantially since its launch. The number of JumiaPay Transactions reached 12.5 million in 2022 compared to 12.1 million in 2021. TPV reached $285.3 million in 2022, up 8.4% compared to 2021.
Our operations benefit from a uniform technology platform coupled with coordinated local presence. Our unified, scalable technology platform has been developed by our technology and data team, which is predominantly located in Portugal and Egypt. This technology platform covers all relevant aspects of our operations, from data management, business intelligence, traffic optimization and consumer engagement to infrastructure, logistics and payments. We constantly collect and analyze data to help us optimize our operations, make our consumer experience more personal and relevant, and enable us, selected sellers and logistics partners to make informed real-time decisions. Our local teams in each of our countries of operations have access to, and may benefit from, the centralized data collection and analytics and are empowered to use the insights gained from our platform in order to take action locally.
We remain committed to taking the business to profitability, through a combination of fundamentals-led growth, enhanced cost discipline and balanced monetization. Despite a challenging macroeconomic backdrop in 2022, we delivered growth across all usage metrics. Annual Active Consumers reached 8.4 million, up 4% year-over-year. Orders reached 38.9 million, up 14% year-over-year. GMV reached $1.05 billion, up 6% year-over-year. We also drove faster monetization with Gross Profit increasing by 18% from $110.1 million in 2021 to $130.4 million in 2022, the highest level in the past 4 years. Although Adjusted EBITDA loss for the full year 2022 increased by 5% from $196.7 million to $207.0 million, we drove a significant reduction in the second half of 2022, both on quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year basis. Adjusted EBITDA loss reached $94.5 million in the second half of 2022, a 16% decrease compared to the first half of 2022 and a 23% decrease compared to the second half of 2021.
Our Market Opportunity
Comprised of 54 countries and with a total population of 1.4 billion people, Africa is the second-largest continent in the world by land mass and population. According to the IMF, in 2022, the 11 countries in which we operate counted 649 million people and accounted for approximately 70% of Africa’s GDP. Internet penetration continues to grow in
Africa with 71% of Africa’s internet users based in the countries in which we operate, according to Internet World Stats, a site of the Miniwatts Marketing Group.
The African e-commerce landscape is characterized by favorable macroeconomic and demographic conditions, including strong expected real GDP growth over the medium term, a young population and an expected rapid increase in mobile internet penetration.
Africa represents a large and growing consumer market that is positioned for growth, driven by the following key macroeconomic facts and trends:
•Economic development: Despite a challenging environment, growth across all five African regions was positive in 2022. According to the IMF, Africa’s real GDP is estimated to have grown 3.7% in 2022, faster than global GDP which is estimated to be 3.2%. Africa is expected to grow by 3.9% in 2023, and averaging 4.4% for 2022-2027. This compares to global averages of 2.7% in 2023 and 3.3% for 2022-2027. In parallel, household spending is expected to grow at robust rates. According to Brookings Institution, household spending in sub-Saharan Africa has grown 150% faster than the population over the past 20 years and expects household consumption in Sub-Saharan Africa alone to reach $2.1 trillion by 2025 and $2.5 trillion by 2030.
•Infrastructure investments: Investments in infrastructure are a key driver of growth in Africa. According to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in 2021, foreign direct investments reached a record high of $83 billion. This represents more than double the amount of investments generated in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic weighed heavily on investment flows.
•Large, fast-growing and young population: As of 2022, Africa comprised approximately 18% of the world’s population, according to data from the IMF. According to the United Nations World Population Prospects Report from 2019, the population of sub-Saharan Africa is projected to double by 2050 and the populations of Northern Africa and Western Africa are expected to grow by 46% by 2050. The United Nations also projects that Nigeria will become the third most populated country in the world by 2050, after India and China. The average age across the African continent was 18.7 years in 2022, more than ten years younger than the global average of 30.2 in 2022, according to the United Nations. We believe that this younger generation, born into an “online” world is increasingly seeking access to a wider choice of food, consumer goods and entertainment options as it becomes increasingly connected to, and aware of, global consumer trends.
•Increasing urbanization: Urban centers play a critical role in driving economic growth. As of 2022, it is estimated that only 44% of Africans lived in urban centers, compared to 83% in North America and 52% in Asia, according to a report from Statista. However, Africa has the fastest urban growth in the world with 60% of Africans expected to be living in urban areas by 2050, indicating an organic and migration-driven growth of over 920 million people to urban centers during that period, according to a 2019 report from the United Nations.
Increasing Internet Penetration
Africa is rapidly becoming a “connected” market, representing a large opportunity for internet-based businesses. According to Internet World Stats, as of December 2021, Africa had an estimated 590 million internet users and 290 million Facebook users across the continent. 71% of internet users and 74% of Facebook users lived in the regions in which we operate. Some of the key factors driving this evolution are:
•Investments in mobile network infrastructure: Africa has emerged as a “mobile-first” market, in which many consumers access the internet for the first time using a mobile device. According to GSMA, in 2022, telecommunication operators invested $8.4 billion in Sub-Saharan Africa, and telecommunication operators across the continent are committed to making additional significant investments in cellular network infrastructure in order to meet rising demand. GSMA estimates the total investments in cellular network infrastructure within Sub-Saharan Africa to be $21 billion between 2023 and 2025.
•Growing mobile internet penetration: Mobile broadband penetration in Africa, which was estimated at 64%, or 901 million subscribers in 2022, is expected to increase to 77% by 2025, according to the market research firm
Ovum. This increase represents approximately 250 million new subscribers, bringing the total number of Africans with 3G or 4G connections to over 1.1 billion, according to the same source.
•Increasing smartphone adoption: While feature phones remain popular in Africa, smartphone penetration as a percentage of the total mobile connections is growing, amounting to 64% in 2021 in Sub Saharan Africa, and is expected by GSMA to increase to 75% by 2025. The growth in smartphone adoption is driven by decreasing average selling prices and the availability of lower cost data plans, according to the Alliance for Affordable Internet and IDC, respectively. We believe that smartphones, with larger screens, more intuitive user interfaces and wider availability of apps are a strong driver of mobile e-commerce adoption.
Evolving Shopping Trends from Offline to Online
As Africa becomes more affluent and “connected,” we believe that African consumers will increasingly become aware of online shopping. Moreover, organized retail is underdeveloped across most of the continent, making the distribution of goods less efficient than in other regions in the world. Against this backdrop, we believe that e-commerce is an attractive alternative to the general lack of organized retail outlets. We believe that the expansion and success of e-commerce solutions across Africa will be driven by the following factors:
•Increasing consumer awareness and trust: As e-commerce and the internet are both relatively new to Africa, educating African consumers about the benefits of online shopping (including for “non-standard” items such as apparel) will be a key factor driving consumer adoption.
•Availability and quality of logistics infrastructure: Outside of certain major cities, many Africans live in areas that lack clear addresses, including in rural areas that are often far from the nearest warehouse or distribution center. As infrastructure continues to improve across Africa and urbanization rates increase, we expect increasing availability of reliable, high-quality and cost effective delivery solutions to contribute to the rise of e-commerce in Africa.
•Consumer adoption of mobile and digital payments: Electronic payments in the form of mobile phone-based solutions, credit, debit or prepaid card or other similar methods are already an important form of payment in Africa. In fact, Africa is the leading continent in terms of mobile money technology adoption. According to data from GSMA, Africa was home to 621 million registered mobile money accounts in 2021, 46% of mobile money accounts globally, with a transaction value of $701 billion, 70% of global mobile money transaction volume. Mobile payment allows consumers to participate in the formal economy while enabling electronic payment of e-commerce orders, driving higher delivery success rate vs. cash on delivery transactions, thus increasing the overall efficiency of e-commerce.
Our Value Proposition
Our Value Proposition to Sellers
•Access to a large and growing consumer base: We believe that our brand has become synonymous with online and mobile shopping in our markets, and we have built a logistics service that provides sellers with access to consumers across a wide delivery footprint. As a result, through our platform, local sellers can efficiently reach consumers across a particular country, and international sellers can efficiently reach a large number of consumers across most major markets in Africa. In 2022, we connected sellers with 8.4 million Annual Active Consumers.
•Unique data: We offer our sellers data and analytics services, helping them to more effectively tailor and customize their offerings and marketing efforts. For example, we are able to inform sellers which products have the best conversion rates and at which price points, positioning them to adjust their assortment, price points and marketing campaigns to enhance their performance. This data may also help sellers improve their inventory management processes from forecasting to buying to end-of-life promotions, leading to increased business and capital efficiency.
•Brand building & advertising: We offer our sellers and third-party advertisers access to millions of users across 11 African countries with the ability to target audiences in a very granular manner. Leveraging extensive user signals data and the multiple touch points we have with consumers, we offer sellers and advertisers a comprehensive range of ad solutions including sponsored product ads, sponsored display banners, CRM ad
products and many more. Many sellers have successfully built their brand awareness and run successful advertising campaigns on our marketplace, embracing our platform as a way to distinguish their own brand identities and build brand awareness.
•Infrastructure & business support: Sellers rely on our platform for a range of essential support services to operate their businesses, such as content creation facilities and web-based and mobile interfaces to manage listings, orders or promotional campaigns.
•Financial services: In selected markets, our sellers have access to attractive financing solutions offered by various third-party financial institutions. This enables our sellers to find the necessary financing to expand their businesses.
Our Value Proposition to Consumers
•Integrated ecosystem: We have built an integrated consumer ecosystem around our marketplace, which allows us to offer consumers a broad selection of goods and services that are relevant for their everyday needs. Besides the ability to purchase a wide range of goods from our marketplace, consumers can order food delivery from our partner restaurants, pay their utility bills or recharge their mobile plans. This provides a higher level of convenience to consumers compared to the traditional, fragmented nature of African commerce.
•Selection, price and convenience: With over 100 thousand sellers active on our platform in 2022, consumers have access to goods from a wide range of categories, such as fashion and apparel, smartphones, home and living, fast-moving consumer goods, beauty and perfumes and other electronics. Our marketplace includes high volume items as well as more niche, tailored and personalized goods, which we refer to as “long-tail” goods. These long-tail goods offer consumers greater selection and help us increase consumer loyalty. The large number of sellers on our marketplace, and the pricing transparency that is inherent to our platform, lead to competition among our sellers and attractive prices for our consumers. Our consumers can access goods and services on our platform 24-hours a day, 7-days a week through our mobile applications and websites.
•Product quality and consumer protection: In order to provide a quality experience, we have implemented standards that encourage our sellers to make quality their priority. Many of our sellers offer consumer protection programs, such as guaranteed returns and product warranties. We have established a data-driven seller scoring program that rewards sellers who consistently offer high-quality goods and are responsive to consumer needs, and we have a policy to delist sellers who violate our defined standards and rules. Our approach provides strong incentives for sellers to improve their operations.
•Secure and convenient payments: Given that many consumers in Africa are new to e-commerce, reliability and security are critical in convincing consumers to make purchases online. We have developed tools and processes to enable consumers who prefer not to use cashless payment to pay in cash on delivery for most transactions. We have also developed our own payment solution, JumiaPay, in order to offer our consumers a safe, fast and easy payment solution, whether they shop using a desktop computer or a mobile device. As of December 31, 2022, one or more JumiaPay services were available in eight markets: Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and Uganda.
•Reliable and timely delivery: We have developed an integrated logistics service, Jumia Logistics, enabling us to fulfill and deliver orders even outside main urban centers in a timely and reliable manner. Through Jumia Express, we seek to provide consumers with a superior experience, as we store goods in our warehouses, seek to ensure full availability of all Jumia Express labeled goods and handle the packaging and delivery process, thus providing consumers with even faster delivery and more reliable fulfillment. Real-time information on delivery status makes the delivery process transparent for consumers.
We believe that the following competitive strengths have contributed to our success and position us well for future growth.
Strengths Related to Our Competitive Position
Pan-African leader. We believe that we are the only e-commerce business successfully operating across multiple regions in Africa. Our reach and capabilities position us as the preferred partner in Africa for sellers, from individuals to large global brands, and as the preferred digital shopping destination for consumers. On our platform, we had a total of 8.4 million Annual Active Consumers as of December 31, 2022.
Deep local expertise. Africa has unique economic, technical, geographic and cultural complexities that must be overcome to build a successful business. We operate exclusively in Africa and have invested significant resources to innovate and tailor our platform to reflect local market characteristics since our founding in 2012. Through our operations, we have developed a deep understanding of the needs and preferences of our sellers and consumers, which has enabled us to develop solutions that address those needs in the most comprehensive and efficient way. We possess extensive local knowledge of the logistics and payment landscapes in the markets in which we operate. Our ability to manage the key complexities in Africa is an advantage relative to potential international entrants, who may lack our on-the-ground capabilities and local seller and consumer insights. We are also well positioned against local competitors within individual markets, who may struggle to expand their reach across multiple markets or build the capabilities necessary to support their operations at scale.
Trusted brand. Trust is critical in Africa, where people traditionally rely on face-to-face interaction to transact business. We believe that our targeted marketing efforts and consistent focus on delivering a high-quality seller and consumer experience have helped us to build a strong reputation and create a leading brand that consumers and sellers recognize and trust. Our brand is well known by consumers and sellers and is among the most recognizable in our regions of operation. For example, Jumia was ranked sixth in the 2021 Most Influential Brands survey in Egypt released by Ipsos in March 2022, up from the ranking of seventh in 2020. In addition, Jumia topped the list in the digital and e-commerce sector in Egypt for the second year in a row. The ‘Most Influential Brands Survey’ is a global Ipsos initiative, covering 14 markets and close to 800 brands worldwide in 2021.
Integrated ecosystem driving consumer engagement. We have built an integrated consumer ecosystem around our marketplace, which allows us to maximize the lifetime value of our consumers by offering a broad selection of goods and services that address their everyday needs. Besides the ability to purchase a wide range of goods, such as apparel or electronics, on our marketplace, consumers can order food delivery from our partner restaurants, pay their utility bills, recharge their mobile plans and find a new job or sell an old car on one of our classifieds portals. This integrated ecosystem approach, combined with delivering all our goods and services under our recognized brands, allows us to have multiple touch points with our consumers, which leads to increased consumer engagement and time spent on our platform and higher consumer acquisition and engagement efficiency.
Leading seller platform that fuels powerful network effects. From large international brands to smaller local sellers, we are the go-to partner for e-commerce transactions in Africa. We offer sellers a wide variety of services, including integration to our platform and training on e-commerce, content production, pricing, sales and marketing services, payments, logistics and seller support. These services help our sellers market, sell and deliver goods to consumers across Africa. In addition, we enable certain international sellers from selected non-African countries to list their goods on our marketplace, providing them with efficient and scalable access to African markets. The number and quality of sellers on our platform, including an increasing number of international sellers, and the breadth of their product offerings attract more consumers, increasing traffic and orders, which in turn attracts even more sellers to our marketplace.
Powerful data insights. Our advanced technology platform enables us to collect significant amounts of data that in turn drives our proprietary algorithms, unlocking new capabilities and generating incremental value for our platform. Our data management system, including powerful data analytics services and machine learning algorithms, helps us run our business more efficiently and enables our sellers, consumers and partners to maximize the value of our platform. For example, we provide data to sellers to enable them to better understand demand for their goods, help them optimize their assortment and pricing and target and acquire a broader base of consumers with similar attributes. For consumers, we use our data to create a better shopping experience by personalizing as much as possible every step of the experience, from browsing to delivery. We also leverage our data to help our logistics partners improve their fulfillment and delivery processes.
Strengths Related to Our Business Model
Proven and efficient business model. We operate a marketplace that has by design proven successful in many non-African markets. Our operations center predominantly around our e-commerce marketplace. We also directly sell goods in selected categories where we see unmet demand or the need to better control the consumer experience. In response to any sales we make, third-party sellers often decide to offer the same or similar goods, allowing us to discontinue our own sales of the relevant product. Accordingly, we typically hold limited inventory.
Scalable, asset-light logistics. We believe that Jumia Logistics is the leading e-commerce fulfillment and express delivery service in Africa. It seamlessly integrates a significant number of logistics partners across Africa, offering sellers on our marketplace the benefits of a distributed and scalable logistics service and consumers more rapid access to the goods that they desire. Jumia Logistics is technology and data-centric and asset-light given that most of the last-mile deliveries are made by our logistics partners. Jumia Logistics facilitates the delivery of packages generated from transactions on our marketplace, from the large cities to remote rural villages of Africa. We are deeply engaged with our logistics partners and take an active role in designing and monitoring processes and tools that allow them to operate their businesses in a more effective way.
Diversified pan-African footprint. We operate in 11 countries which provides us with macroeconomic and FX diversification benefits as we are not overly reliant on any one currency or market. In addition, our large footprint makes us a valuable partner for our sellers, especially international brands and overseas sellers, as they are able to access multiple large markets in Africa through a single platform and partner. Lastly, our diversified footprint provides us with economies of scale. For instance, we invest centrally in product development and technology are able to deploy a unified technology backbone, processes and tools across all markets.
Proprietary technology infrastructure. We have built a highly reliable and scalable technology infrastructure that can handle the large transaction volumes generated on our platform, and we continue to invest in technology to support the strong growth of our business and the ongoing evolution of our services. We have focused the development of our technology infrastructure on building a comprehensive platform rather than disconnected products, which we believe support our ability to handle significant increases in traffic and the number of consumers, sellers and orders throughout the Jumia ecosystem.
“Mobile-first” approach in a mobile-centric market. Smartphone penetration in Africa is expected to increase. We have adopted a “mobile-first” approach in our product development and marketing efforts. This allows us to expand the audience for our goods and services, drive up engagement and conversion and reduce our consumer acquisition costs. We believe that we have developed a deep understanding of the shopping habits of mobile consumers in Africa and deliver the mobile experience to our consumers through three types of mobile technologies: native applications, progressive web applications and light browsers (an interface that is compatible with low data consumption browsers). Progressive web applications load like regular web pages but can offer enhanced functionality such as working offline, push notifications, and device hardware access traditionally available only to native mobile applications. We expect the importance of a mobile-first approach to increase even further in the future, as more households use smartphones and tablets as primary devices to access the internet.
Strong corporate culture. We have a diverse management team which is largely based within our operating countries and possess the necessary skills, experience and leadership qualities to effectively guide the organization towards achieving its strategic objectives. Our corporate culture is central to our success and is based on core values shared by everyone at Jumia. We believe that all our employees are leaders, that every challenge has a solution, that even big organizations need to be innovative and that diversity, meritocracy and team work are paramount to success. We invest in the career development of our employees, knowing that diversity of perspective, backgrounds and talents strengthens our business. We recognize the importance of diversity and are committed to increasing diversity within Jumia taking into account the particular environment in our local markets. As we do not have a majority shareholder, we believe that we have developed a strong corporate governance model focused on long-term success.
Our Growth Strategy
In determining our strategy, we seek to balance usage growth, platform monetization and cost efficiency. The key elements of our growth strategy include:
Continue to grow our business and leadership position across our current markets. We intend to leverage our e-commerce platform to continue expanding our consumer base in each of the markets in which we operate by accelerating the shift towards online and capturing an increased share of our addressable markets. Favorable trends in our markets, such as a growing urban population, increase in the access to mobile phones and broadband networks and an increasing proportion of young, tech-savvy people, as well as growing awareness of the Jumia brand, position us to unlock this potential and to increase the volume of transactions conducted on our platform.
Continue enhancing the diversity and relevance of product assortment on our platform. Based on our knowledge of the African consumer, we believe selection and depth of assortment are critical drivers of consumer adoption and continuing loyalty in e-commerce. Over the past couple of years, we have significantly diversified our assortment and category mix with increased exposure to product categories that are relevant to consumers as part of their daily lives. We intend to provide an even more relevant and deeper product assortment by further enhancing our relationships with key brands and local distributors, particularly, in our core e-commerce categories such as phones and consumer electronics, home appliances, fashion and beauty. Furthermore, we intend to continue to invest in our seller platform, educating our sellers on how best to establish and grow their online presence, encouraging them to increase their assortment and improve the quality and usage of the data and marketing tools available to them. We are leveraging both local supply and our cross-border platform and tailoring our assortment to align with local customer preferences.
Drive consumer adoption and repurchase through consumer education and relevant marketing activities. As we operate in a nascent e-commerce environment, we view consumer education through appropriate marketing channels as critical levers to drive e-commerce adoption. Our consumers often cite the lack of understanding of how transactions work in practice as a hurdle to e-commerce adoption, e.g., that having a bank card is not a prerequisite for transacting online, that purchased goods can be returned and that one can shop online for a broad range of everyday needs. To drive consumer education and e-commerce adoption, we are investing in a multi-channel marketing approach. Historically, our marketing strategy largely relied on online performance marketing channels such as search engines and social media to drive traffic and conversion rates. Going forward, while online performance marketing will remain relevant, we intend to place much more focus on local marketing channels to drive consumer awareness and education in a more relevant and cost effective manner. As part of our local marketing approach, we intend to further leverage offline channels such as our JForce channel which is a network of independent sales consultants that raise awareness of Jumia locally while educating consumers about e-commerce. We will also continue leveraging other offline marketing channels such as radio or targeted out-of-home campaigns leveraging geotargeting tools to identify underpenetrated areas. Lastly, we aim to increase our consumer repurchase rates through continued focus on the app, which allows us to drive re-engagement and repurchase in an effective manner with tailored push-notifications. Our AI-powered CRM growth tool is also a core lever of our retention marketing efforts allowing us to push personalized content and promotions to consumers leveraging data and user signals.
Enhance user experience throughout the customer journey and touch points with Jumia. We invest in our technology platform to build more products and features aimed at improving user engagement and enhancing the user experience. As part of our product development roadmap, we prioritize products aimed at simplifying our user experience, making it more user friendly and intuitive for our consumers. In parallel, as we increase our depth of assortment, we continuously enhance our search and product sorting algorithm to improve user experience and product discovery. To further enhance our customer experience offline, we are continuously improving our fulfillment services with a focus on reducing delivery times and increasing convenience including expanding our network of pick-up stations where relevant to consumers.
Gradually monetize usage and assets of our platform through diversified revenue streams. We consider monetization a by-product of scale and intend to drive more revenue as we grow usage of our platform. We also intend to further diversify our revenue mix by reducing our reliance on commission and shipping fees through monetizing the broader assets of our platform. We intend to further develop Jumia Advertising which allows sellers and third-party advertisers to reach millions of users across 11 countries in Africa with granular targeting tools and a broad range of advertising solutions. We continue to better monetize our Jumia Express service as we charge sellers a premium for the ability to store their products in our warehouse, allowing faster delivery to consumers. We also intend to monetize our JumiaPay payment processing solution as we take the services of JumiaPay off-platform in Nigeria and Egypt where we have obtained the relevant licenses to do so.
Drive the development of JumiaPay. We intend to drive the development of JumiaPay on-platform, making it an even more effective enabler of e-commerce, while expanding our payment services to third-party merchants off-platform in Nigeria and Egypt. 2022 marked an important milestone for JumiaPay as we were granted the Payment Service Solution Provider license by the Central Bank of Nigeria, which allows us to process payments on behalf of third-party businesses in Nigeria. This comes after we secured in 2021, through the National Bank of Egypt, the relevant licenses to offer payment processing services off-platform in Egypt. As part of our on- and off-platform expansion efforts we are working on further enhancing the convenience and effectiveness of our services while building more tools to help sellers better manage and grow their businesses, such as data insights, marketing and loyalty solutions and many more. We are developing a two-sided payment and fintech ecosystem with dedicated solutions for both merchants and consumers. With respect to consumers, we intend to develop the range of digital services with a greater degree of discipline, ensuring we are offering relevant services for consumers while supporting our unit economics.
Increase cost efficiencies. We intend to grow usage of our platform and further develop JumiaPay in a cost effective, cash disciplined manner. We are seeking to drive efficiencies across the full cost structure, which will include the following measures:
•On fulfillment expense, we intend to step up our efforts on the efficiency initiatives initiated in late 2022 with a view to optimizing the freight and shipping costs of deliveries while increasing efficiencies in our physical infrastructure. We will also take a more disciplined approach to product category development, scaling back on product categories with more challenging fulfillment economics.
•With respect to marketing expenses, we intend to improve marketing efficiency by leveraging best practices from countries with the best efficiency ratios, focusing our spend on the marketing channels that drive the best returns on investment. We will also put more focus on local marketing channels including above-the-line education and activation initiatives, shifting a higher share of marketing expense into local currency denominations while adopting a hyperlocal approach, tailored to our addressable markets.
•With respect to general and administrative expense, we reduced staff costs by streamlining our management structure with a view to creating a leaner and more agile organization and locating senior leadership and decision centers closer to our consumers and sellers in Africa. As a part of this initiative, we significantly reduced overhead expenses in Dubai with meaningful general and administrative expense savings for the group.
Our Geographic Footprint
We believe that we are the only e-commerce business successfully operating across multiple regions in Africa. We group our operations in three regions. These three African regions are:
•West Africa, which includes Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Senegal;
•North Africa, which includes Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia; and
•East and South Africa, which includes Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.
Our footprint allows us to reach 47% of Africa’s 1.4 billion population and 71% of the 590 million internet users on the African continent. Countries in our footprint account for approximately 70% of Africa’s $3.0 trillion gross domestic product.
Our reach and capabilities position us as the preferred partner in Africa for sellers, from individuals to large global brands, and as the preferred shopping destination for consumers. In terms of GMV, in 2022, West Africa was our most important region accounting for 52% of GMV. Nigeria was our largest market representing one third of GMV in 2022. The second largest region was North Africa accounting for 31% of GMV, followed by East Africa at 14% and South Africa at 3%.
While our offerings in these regions are largely similar, we adapt our operations to local demand and market characteristics since competition, logistics and payment landscapes as well as seller and consumer preferences vary from
region to region. We operate under the brand “Jumia” in most of our markets, except for South Africa, where we operate under the brand “Zando.”
We believe that our integrated platform, consisting of Jumia Marketplace, Jumia Logistics and JumiaPay, helps sellers and consumers to easily connect and transact with each other.
We have developed our platform based on a centralized approach that allows for strong localized execution. We operate on the basis of standardized principles, software and processes, in particular with respect to our strategy, brand, overall marketing strategy and our technology platform. This allows us to realize synergies and increase efficiency for elements that are best handled centrally as well as to share our knowledge and best practices gained with our local teams in the markets in which we operate.
Our marketplace allows consumers to discover, research and buy goods and services and allows sellers to establish their own online presence and efficiently manage their online operations. Our sellers are comprised of key accounts, local sellers and international sellers. Key accounts are typically international and large local brands, local official distributors of international brands, local large manufacturers or assemblers of goods or medium to large local retailers. Local sellers are usually professional traders, shop owners or small manufacturers or individuals, which accounted for the vast majority of our sellers in 2022. A small percentage of our sellers are overseas sellers based outside of Africa, mostly in China. These sellers are generally experienced in conducting cross-border business and are familiar with the processes of e-commerce.
On our marketplace, sellers offer goods from a wide range of categories, such as fashion and apparel, smartphones, home and living items, fast-moving consumer goods, beauty and perfumes and other electronic items. We also offer consumers easy access to a number of digital services, such as restaurant food delivery, airtime recharge, utility bills payments and many more.
The following chart shows the share of items sold by category in 2022:
Source: Company information
(1)Fast-moving consumer goods
(2)Includes services offered via the JumiaPay app
In 2022, we had over 1.1 billion visits. We believe that our marketplace is a starting point for many consumers to discover, research and buy goods and services.
We believe that our marketplace has the most extensive and relevant online collection of goods across Africa. In 2022, almost 80% of items sold on our platform were offered by third-party sellers (i.e., third-party sales). However, we also occasionally act as a seller ourselves by offering goods in selected categories (i.e., first-party sales) where we see unmet demand or the need to better control the consumer experience. While the vast majority of our sellers are located in the country in which the relevant transaction takes place, we allow sellers from selected non-African countries such as China to list their goods on our marketplace, providing them with easy access to African markets and valuable data and insights concerning commerce in Africa. Such sellers often offer goods that are not readily available in Africa or have better prices, which improves our attractiveness to African consumers.
We drive consumer engagement by focusing on a product selection along three dimensions: anchor brands (e.g., iconic, sought-after brands), bestsellers (e.g., fastest moving goods in the market) and “long-tail” goods (e.g., wide selection of goods not often sought, but that address specific consumer needs). We believe that our offering appeals to consumers, who value ease-of-use, a large product selection and competitive prices.
Most of our sellers are required, either by local regulations or by our operating standards, to allow consumers to return goods within a certain number of days, providing our consumers with the certainty that they will only keep those goods they actually want to keep. The ability to easily return undesired goods is a fundamental pillar of our value proposition to consumers, and we believe that it helps us to increase consumer trust and loyalty.
We seek to minimize returns and the costs associated with our return policy, in particular by improving the presentation of goods and the information available on goods on our marketplace, offering consumer service through our hotline and other messaging services, seller education and maintaining and improving our strict quality control. Based on our experience, the vast majority of goods returned to us have not been opened or used and may be resold through the original channel at full price.
In addition to physical goods, we offer consumers a number of services through our platform, providing them with different entry points into our ecosystem while supporting consumer lifetime value. When we introduce a new service offering, we typically launch the offering in a specific city or country and then expand its geographic reach over time.
Food delivery: Since 2012, we have enabled food ordering and delivery in most of our markets. We provide restaurants with a sophisticated instant delivery network and data-driven insights. For our consumers, we provide access to a large range of local and international restaurants and dishes, from international chains to local restaurants. We have developed an easy-to-use and attractive interface and a proprietary geo-location mapping and rider tracking functionality, which has made delivery quick, transparent and convenient for consumers. A large number of restaurants we partner with prefer to use our logistics service to deliver food, benefiting from advanced tools, significant scale, and rider training to achieve a high level of consumer experience and cost efficiency. Today, we have partnerships with many local popular restaurants, including international chains. In 2022, in an effort to optimize our capital allocation and enhance our business focus, we ceased our food delivery operations in Egypt, Ghana and Senegal. In these countries, our food delivery business was sub-scale resulting in unit economics dilution with limited customer lifetime value upside. As of December 31, 2022, we offered food delivery services in 7 countries and over 50 cities across Africa. Going forward, we will continue to evaluate our food delivery services as part of our overall strategic review.
On demand delivery services: Leveraging our logistics infrastructure and a growing demand from our consumers for “on demand instant delivery,” or “q-commerce,” we launched a number of instant delivery services such as groceries, alcoholic beverages and a range of other convenience goods. We operate these services using our food-delivery logistics and technology infrastructure and provide third-party sellers with opportunities to connect and transact with consumers. We intend to focus our q-commerce efforts in markets where we have an established proof concept with sufficient logistics scale.
Digital services on the JumiaPay app: We offer a broad range of digital services on the JumiaPay app to provide consumers with more digital payment use cases as part of their daily lives. Consumers can easily top up credits for their prepaid phone numbers or pay bills for postpaid numbers from most major mobile service providers using their JumiaPay payment app. They can also pay their utility bills such as gas, water, electricity, television subscriptions as well as school tuition. We are also offering coupons (local deals), vouchers (gaming, playstores: iTunes, Google Play), tickets (e.g. transportation, events) and financial services (insurance, credit and savings products). We are currently focused on developing our digital services in a disciplined manner and, in the fourth quarter of 2022, have reduced marketing investment for the most heavily promotional categories, airtime recharge in particular, to support our unit economics. As of December 31, 2022, our JumiaPay app was available in Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and Uganda.
Classifieds: Our classified portals allow consumers to look for jobs, real estate, vehicles and other items to buy. Sellers include recruiters, real estate professionals, car dealers, individuals who sell used goods and a large number of small businesses that prefer to have direct on-site interaction with buyers, which facilitates price negotiation and cash payment, over online sales. Our classifieds portals were online in more than 30 African countries as of December 2022. We do not seek to extensively monetize this service, but rather generate further user engagement. As we consider our classifieds
portals as ancillary to our core business, we adjust the countries of operation from time to time. For example, in March 2019, we agreed to sell our classifieds portals in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia for a cash consideration of €0.2 million.
The logistics landscape in Africa is characterized by a high degree of fragmentation, often with no clear leading player in a particular country or region, a high degree of variability between regions and players, a general lack of automation of logistic centers and an overall challenging infrastructure. While some of Africa’s major cities are reasonably well-served by third-party logistics vendors, such vendors often do not operate with the standards required to ensure a good seller and consumer experience in the context of e-commerce. In addition, many Africans live in settings which lack clear addresses and are often far from the nearest warehouse or distribution center. As a result, logistics and delivery services are not readily available in such areas or may be prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, many local logistics companies operate without the technology required to provide consumers with high quality service (e.g., tracking of their order, timely delivery). Finally, logistics companies may struggle to gain access to financing, making it difficult for them to expand and grow their businesses.
We have built an innovative logistics and delivery infrastructure that we believe is the leading e-commerce fulfillment and express delivery service in Africa. Our technology and data allow us to integrate our service providers, our own logistics management solutions and our partner network solutions. We support local entrepreneurs to help them enter into and succeed in the logistics industry by offering them relevant know-how, data, technology and tools. We have also developed a number of processes to benchmark the performance of service providers and to promote healthy competition between such service providers. Our logistics and delivery infrastructure positions us to effect deliveries not just to primary cities, but also to rural areas. In Jumia’s five largest markets (Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco and Ivory Coast), more than half of the packages were delivered to primary cities, with the remaining packages split roughly equally between secondary and rural areas in 2022.
Jumia Logistics covers all stages of the fulfillment chain, including warehousing, inbound deliveries, picking and packing, last-mile and payment, tracking and return handling. Our warehouse infrastructure is based on a standardized model and software technology, operated and executed on a local level, and specifically tailored to e-commerce needs. It is designed to increase mid-mile efficiency and reduce lead times in fulfillment processes. As of December 31, 2022, Jumia Logistics platform consisted of over 700 logistics partners, a proprietary delivery fleet to fulfill express deliveries in select areas, more than 70,000 sqm of warehousing space, almost 100 drop-off stations for sellers and almost 1,500 pick-up stations for consumers. All of our warehouse space is leased from third parties. We control the vast majority of inbound deliveries, whether they are made by sellers at our drop-off stations, picked-up from seller facilities, or picked and packed orders on behalf of sellers who use our storage service. Our tracking solution provides full visibility over the package journey. As part of our full-service fulfillment and express delivery infrastructure, we also control the collection and processing of returned merchandise for our sellers. For international sellers, we provide additional support concerning the import/export process.
Through our Jumia Express program, we seek to provide our consumers and sellers with a superior experience. Goods offered under our Jumia Express program are stored in our warehouses, allowing faster delivery to consumers without any involvement from the sellers. Sellers benefit as they do not need to arrange for storage of goods they offer via our marketplace or become involved in the fulfillment of individual consumer orders. We are currently working on increasing the penetration of this service and improving its monetization as sellers start to see its benefits in terms of conversion rates and volume uplift. In 2022, Jumia Express accounted for 57% of the items sold via our platform compared to 43% in 2021.
Our current logistics set-up is the result of significant investments we have made to scale our data and technology tools across the value chain, including investments in end-to-end process optimization and back-end fulfillment systems. We believe that our current fulfillment infrastructure positions us well for scaling, in particular due to our standardized model and software technology. When required, we are able to onboard new logistics partners thanks to our automated systems or expand our current warehouse set-up by adding floors. Furthermore, our business operations do not have special requirements that would be hard to meet, which facilitates the opening of additional warehouse facilities. Our current fulfillment set-up generally allows us to keep our operations asset-light, only requiring minimal capital expenditures with respect to our logistics service.
Jumia Logistics set-up has been designed with a view to opening it up for third-party needs, when our logistics platform reaches a sufficient level of scale and efficiency to support third-party volumes. In 2020, we took steps for the
launch of our logistics “as-a-service” offering to allow third-party businesses, whether they are sellers on the Jumia marketplace or not, to use Jumia Logistics for their fulfillment needs. As of December 31, 2022, we offer this service in Nigeria, Morocco and Ivory Coast.
The African banking and payment landscape is characterized by a high degree of fragmentation of financial institutions and service providers, a general lack of infrastructure, low consumer trust and high perceived levels of fraud. Consumers are often wary of using bank accounts or other banking platforms, as they are afraid that their money may not reach the intended recipient.
To overcome these challenges, Africa has experienced a high degree of innovation in mobile payments and financial services, including so-called “eWallet” (electronic wallet) services, a technology that allows users to receive, store and spend money using a mobile phone. Depending on the relevant operator, users can store or link their bank account, credit or debit card details on such operator’s app or also transfer money to such app. Once the money is deposited in their wallet, they can use it to pay bills or make purchases immediately. Against this backdrop, we continue to develop an advanced and sophisticated payment infrastructure which integrates our payment platform with certain financial services relevant to our sellers and consumers.
In connection with our initial public offering in April 2019, we entered into a private placement agreement with Mastercard, pursuant to which Mastercard purchased from us €50.0 million of our ordinary shares. In connection with this agreement, we entered into a commercial agreement with Mastercard Asia/Pacific, an affiliate of Mastercard. For more information, see Item 10. “Additional Information—C. Material Contracts—Mastercard Agreements.”
In 2022, we were granted the Payment Service Solution Provider license by the Central Bank of Nigeria, allowing us to offer payment processing solutions off-platform on behalf of third party merchants in Nigeria. This comes after we secured, through the National Bank of Egypt, the relevant licenses to offer payment processing services off-platform in Egypt in 2021.
Consumer Payment and Financial Services
Our payment service, JumiaPay, together with its network of licensed payment service providers and other partners, enables sellers and consumers to transact using a diverse variety of payment methods for transactions conducted on marketplace. As of December 31, 2022, JumiaPay was available in eight markets: Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and Uganda.
To drive consumer engagement and to benefit from the increasing share of mobile internet penetration, we have developed our JumiaPay app, which allows consumers to access a broad range of digital services offered by third-party providers (e.g., airtime recharge, utility payments, financial services) as well other Jumia platforms, such as Jumia Food or our physical goods marketplace. We designed our app to offer an easy and efficient mobile-only user experience, with innovative features to optimize consumer experience, drive higher conversion and encourage repeat transactions. To use the app, consumers need to create a JumiaPay account, which they can link to an underlying payment method of their preference, including a credit or debit card, bank account or third-party e-wallet. The JumiaPay app is currently available in eight countries: Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and Uganda.
TPV reached $285.3 million in 2022, an increase of 8.4% compared to 2021. On-platform penetration of JumiaPay as a percentage of GMV increased from 26.6% in 2021 to 27.2% in 2022. The number of JumiaPay Transactions reached 12.5 million in 2022 compared to 12.1 million in 2021, taking on-platform penetration of digital payment as a percentage of orders to 32.0% in 2022, compared to 35.5% in 2021. The growth in JumiaPay Transactions in our e-commerce and food delivery platforms outpaced the growth of JumiaPay app Transactions. As JumiaPay penetration is almost 100% on the JumiaPay app, the reduced share of JumiaPay app in the transactions mix led to a decline in the overall JumiaPay Transactions penetration as a percentage of orders.
As of the date of this Annual Report, JumiaPay does not operate as a full-fledged eWallet, i.e., it does not provide the full functionality of an eWallet (e.g. store value, P2P). The current version of our eWallet operates as a pass through with a number of different payment gateways and provides our consumers with cashback and top-ups, which are similar to vouchers and have the primary purpose of encouraging consumer loyalty. Cashback and top ups cannot be withdrawn or transferred from the eWallet. Instead, they can only be used as credit toward subsequent purchases on our platform
We have built our app to collect, store and use data, with the perspective to integrate financial services for consumers. Through our app as well as the multiple touch points we have with consumers, we are able to track user activity, purchase and payment behavior, and use this data to improve credit scoring of our consumers, cross- and up-sell our services and personalize the consumer experience.
We believe that the growth of JumiaPay has significantly benefited, and will continue to benefit, from our marketplace, which gives us access to a large potential user base. We intend to continue to add more payment options, digital services and financial services to enhance the relevance of our payment and fintech proposition to consumers.
Seller Payment and Financial Services
Via Jumia Lending, our sellers have access to financing solutions offered by various credit partners (e.g., microcredit institutions, banks). Our financial services offering is designed to cater to the needs of our growing seller base as our sellers are often small businesses with limited to no access to financial institutions but who require financial assistance to grow and expand their businesses. We believe that this initiative is very relevant for our sellers, because it increases their engagement with Jumia and provides them with capital which in turn can help them to grow. It is also a potential additional revenue source for Jumia in the long-term as it helps us develop a broader range of financial services for sellers and SMEs.
Financial institutions often face challenges in providing financial services to individuals and/or small and mid-sized enterprises, in particular due to the lack of credit scoring data. Our unique proprietary data on our sellers enables us to further develop our credit scoring capabilities and allows our partners to benefit from such data and to improve their scoring, distribution and collection of loans and to develop and establish other financial services. Currently, upon a seller’s request, we share such seller’s data with our partners, enabling them to score the credit of the relevant seller. If the scoring provides favorable results, our partners return a loan offer to such seller. Going forward, we intend to provide the credit scoring data in anonymized form to potential lenders and display the pre-approved offers directly on the Jumia seller platform. Our scoring data would help to significantly increase the speed with which a seller may obtain a loan. This is also highly attractive to potential lenders, as we provide them access to our seller base, which significantly facilitates their distribution efforts. At the same time, we lower collection risk for our lending partners, as our partners are, under certain conditions, able to collect repayments directly from seller accounts.
We have a coordinated approach to market our offering to sellers and consumers across our geographic footprint.
Seller Recruitment and Management
The vast majority of our sellers join our marketplace through a dedicated online portal where they can easily input information to create their online store on our marketplace. We use a variety of channels to advertise the opportunity for sellers to open a store, including attending conferences and trade shows where traders and local manufacturers gather. Our objective is to make it easy for sellers to create an online store, while ensuring the quality and the professionalism of the sellers to execute the required operational activities to conduct their online businesses.
To manage and further drive seller engagement following successful registration on our platform, we have developed a number of tools that are offered through a self-managed and scalable platform. For example, to build their online reputation and brand image, sellers can refer to a “seller score,” which is a data-driven scoring of the seller’s performance. Based on certain performance indicators, such as tenure, seller score, revenue and number of items sold per month, we assign a rating to our sellers that determines their visibility ranking in the search algorithms. Furthermore, we have implemented a fully automated operational performance system designed to drive our sellers’ operational performance and improve consumer experience. Based on seller performance, we set certain limits on order volumes and implement financial penalties in case of cancellations, product quality or return issues. Finally, our sellers can benefit from our commercial planning tool, which is easily accessible through the sellers’ interface. This tool allows them to participate in and manage promotional and commercial events, such as Jumia Anniversary or Jumia Black Fridays.
Consumer Education and Engagement
We have built a brand that is well known by consumers and among the most recognizable in our regions of operation. Through our consumer education and engagement efforts, we continuously work on turning our strong brand
into relevant traffic. We believe that educating consumers about the options offered by our platform will translate into relevant traffic to our mobile applications, mobile-optimized websites and traditional websites.
With a view to increasing e-commerce adoption and growing consumer engagement, we leverage both performance channels (i.e., marketing channels where we only pay based on measurable results) and non-performance channels in our marketing activities. Some of our performance marketing channels include:
•Search engine optimization / app store optimization: By analyzing the relevance of key search terms and seeking to ensure that our mobile applications, mobile-optimized websites and traditional websites are designed to efficiently utilize such relevant terms, we constantly work to improve our design with a view to ensuring that our mobile applications, mobile-optimized websites and traditional websites are ranked high in organic searches and the maximum relevant traffic is directed to them.
•Search engine marketing: We further selectively rely on search engine marketing that involves the promotion of our websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages, primarily through paid advertising.
•Paid social media: In our use of social media channels, we rely primarily on Facebook. We also use other social media platforms such as Instagram. Social media channels help us improve our brand recognition and generate additional word-of-mouth referrals and thereby new consumers. Our online marketing strategy follows a full-funnel approach, going beyond direct response ads, which are focused on consumer conversion, towards top-of-the-funnel activities such as video advertising to drive brand awareness and consumer consideration.
•Affiliation marketing: Affiliates have the opportunity to promote, grow and earn a commission percentage of the sale tracked, and in return, this helps us increase our sales and brand awareness through third-party marketing activities. We have developed our own tools for tracking orders and identifying qualified orders.
•Consumer relationship management: Our consumer relationship activities (CRM) serve as a free engine for re-engagement of our visitors and consumers through all type of notifications (e.g., app notifications, web notifications, SMS, emails). Our artificial intelligence-powered CRM growth tool is a core lever of our marketing efforts allowing us to target our audiences in a more granular manner and push personalized content leveraging data which helps us to both reduce opt-outs and drive usage uplift.
•Vouchers: We create specific incentives to encourage consumers to try Jumia for the first time, or to re-engage with consumers who have not been active for a certain period, or to drive certain specific volume to certain categories.
•Offline marketing: In certain markets in which we operate, we have launched our sales program JForce, which consists of independent sales consultants that earn commissions by selling the goods and services that we offer on our platform to their personal or professional networks. The profile of our consultants is very diverse, comprising students, young professionals, and moms as well as small shops and retailers. We are also testing a limited number of “physical stores” to allow consumers to directly interact with Jumia in person.
Alongside online performance marketing channels, a number of non-performance online channels form a core part of our marketing strategy, including the following:
•Social media influencers: To strategically increase our overall reach and enhance brand perception, we also selectively work with influencers (e.g., local celebrities, Key Opinion Leaders, or KOLs, niche publishers and content creators) across a large number of social media channels as well as YouTube. We are building a leading network of influencers on social media in Africa. In 2022, we already had over 500 active influencers in our network. We introduced a proprietary KOLs management platform that allows us to acquire, manage, track and compensate KOLs in a fully automated manner, thereby helping us scale this channel in an effective manner.
•YouTube: We further leverage our YouTube channel to run video campaigns to maximize our coverage, especially during our promotional events. By using videos as a separate marketing channel, we are able to achieve quantifiable impact over our organic channels, while also using video as a market research tool.
While historically the vast majority of our marketing spend was allocated to online performance and non-performance marketing channels, going forward, we intend to shift a higher share of our marketing spend to local, offline marketing
channels. A number of offline marketing channels have proven to be highly relevant and effective in driving consumer awareness, education and increase traffic to our platform, while being more cost effective than online channels. Offline channels include:
•On-the-ground activation. We have a significant on-the-ground presence through agencies and street activation teams. In certain markets, we have launched our sales program JForce, which consists of independent sales consultants that earn commissions by selling the goods and services that we offer on our platform to their personal or professional networks. Our consultants raise awareness of Jumia locally while educating consumers about e-commerce, enabling us to further promote our brand. The profile of our consultants is very diverse, comprising students, young professionals, and moms as well as small shops and retailers. We are also testing a limited number of “physical stores” to allow consumers to directly interact with Jumia in person.
•Mass media. These channels include localized TV and radio campaigns as well as geotargeted billboards. They help us further build trust and awareness through targeted out-of-home campaigns to increase our reach in strategic yet underpenetrated geographical areas.
As part of our general marketing strategy, we create promotional events that are relevant to consumers. Large campaigns are typically executed simultaneously in all our major markets. However, start dates may vary by a few days due to local holidays. For other campaigns, more flexibility exists as to the dates and the commercial intensity of the campaign.
Our marketing strategy follows a data-driven approach and leverages the large amount of data collected through our operations. To optimize our overall marketing spend and allocation by channel, in addition to our existing marketing optimization tools, we utilize an enhanced Return On Marketing Investment (“ROMI”) model. This is a customized engine trained on multiple years of Jumia data to model the differentiated impact of various marketing activities and channels on customer acquisition and loyalty, informing the marketing budget allocation.
Our Seller Support
We have developed strong seller support processes to help our sellers manage their operations, further grow their businesses and deepen their level of engagement with us. We take the seller experience beyond the traditional “business only” approach by thinking of, and treating, our sellers as a community. Benefiting from our locally deployed teams with deep knowledge of regional market characteristics, we offer our sellers fast and localized operational and technological assistance. For example, our seller support teams provide sellers with personalized assistance and answer questions relating to operations, category management, inventory management and pricing. In addition, we create dedicated online forums such as our “Vendor Hub” and our “Online University” through which new sellers can ask questions and obtain answers from other sellers. We have also developed a tool called “Seller Coach” that provides our sellers with real time and actionable recommendations to enhance their performance, covering areas such as product pricing, replenishment and inventory management, content score and product visibility and advertising.
Our Consumer Support
In line with our focus on providing a superior consumer experience, we consider consumer support to be a key element of our operations. Our dedicated and locally deployed consumer service teams focus on serving consumers on our marketplace through telephone hotlines, real-time instant messaging and other online inquiry systems. To provide such services, we operate a consumer service center in each of our markets. In order to ensure a consistent and high quality of consumer service, all of our consumer service centers operate based on standardized principles, software and processes. By focusing on the high quality of our consumer service, we seek to ensure that only a comparably small number of consumer complaints result in returns. We believe that the success of our consumer service operations is evidenced by generally high satisfaction among our consumers.
Technology and Data
We consider ourselves to be a technology company and believe that we have the most advanced and sophisticated e-commerce platform in the markets in which we operate. Our platform is operated by more than 400 technology professionals, providing us with significant innovative potential as we continually seek to expand and optimize our
technology infrastructure. Our technology experts are predominantly located in our global technology centers in Porto, Portugal, and in Cairo, Egypt. Portugal is well located to serve Africa in terms of time zones and travel options, is part of the European Union, which allows us to recruit talent on a European level and provides a favorable cost of living environment. Our technology center in Egypt allows us to tap into the growing technology talent pool in Egypt and supports all business areas and countries.
Technology and Data Platform
We have created a custom- and purpose-built modular technology and data platform that is highly adapted to our markets and highly scalable. Our technology and data platform covers all steps along the value chain, from seller recruitment and support to consumer acquisition and engagement, traffic optimization, payments, logistics, infrastructure and business intelligence and is built with a service-oriented architecture approach for every component.
The following graphic demonstrates the powerful network effects generated by the interactions of our sellers and consumers with our platform:
Source: Company information
To meet consumers’ expectations, we have developed our mobile applications, mobile-optimized websites and traditional websites, which are programmed and updated in-house as a resilient storefront for our product offering, focusing on reducing downtime while providing a state-of-the-art consumer experience. Our services are designed in a High-Availability (HA) architecture helping us to ensure the stability and reliability of our technology backbone. In our technology operations, we rely on a hybrid infrastructure, based on the cloud computing platform provided by third parties, and a private hosting provider for part of our back-office systems for which services we pay licensing fees. Cloud computing helps us to efficiently store data and maintain and speed up the availability of our mobile applications, mobile-optimized websites and traditional websites.
While we offer a variety of different interfaces (e.g., through our mobile applications, mobile-optimized websites and traditional websites), our platform is based on our central authentication system, allowing our consumers to access all our services and platform with the same credentials.
As mobile traffic accounted for the majority of our overall platform traffic 2022, our front-end development focuses primarily on features that improve user experience on mobile devices. We specifically optimize our mobile applications for size, in order to make them easier for consumers to download or to upgrade. We also invest significant resources in optimizing the speed of our mobile applications to help consumers save time while browsing our mobile applications.
We analyze seller and consumer behavior, and we tailor the design and the content of our mobile applications, mobile-optimized websites and traditional websites to ensure that they stay relevant to consumers. We prioritize all new developments and new features based on local insights that we are able to gather with our local teams.
We make significant investments in our innovation and research and development activities. For example, we currently focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence (e.g., search algorithm, return rate prediction, enhanced programmatic marketing), kubernetes and spot instances (e.g., enhanced elasticity and resilience of infrastructure, cost efficiency) applied to both our application and data-lake infrastructure. Those investments typically contribute to improved user experience of our platforms, higher conversion rates as well as improved cost efficiency. In 2023, we also intend to focus on investments into information technology and systems to protect the security, integrity and confidentiality of our data.
Payment Services Technology
JumiaPay integrates relevant local and international payment methods to facilitate payments. This is done either with a direct integration, if the expected transaction volume warrants the effort, or by using aggregators. We generally aim to present a unified experience to our users, irrespective of the payment method used, and process payment information in a secure environment based on the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). At the same time, we offer a unified application programming interface (API) across all payment methods
We have developed our fraud scoring and risk monitoring processes using what we believe to be industry-leading software that utilizes algorithms that analyze different criteria. We are also developing a proprietary tool for fraud and risk monitoring. Every major use case (purchase or login) is covered by real-time scoring, where over 300 factors are considered. Device fingerprinting is used to track account takeovers and other fraud patterns. Our in-house fraud team employs a number of rule sets to find an appropriate balance between acceptable risk and a high acceptance rate. New rules can be tested against historic data to measure the impact before deploying to the production system. Real-time monitoring allows for detection of coordinated attacks. Our focus on disciplined fraud risk management through our scoring algorithms has allowed us to further reduce the share of bad debts and credit or debit card chargebacks, while at the same time accelerating our growth.
When expanding and operating our technology platform, we constantly focus on security and reliability. To this end, we undertake administrative and technical measures to protect our systems and the consumer data that those systems process and store (e.g., cloud storage, data encryption, VPN network). We have developed policies and procedures designed to manage data security risks (e.g., disaster recovery systems, penetration and security testing) and implemented various security measures, including password security, firewalls, automated backup systems and high-quality antivirus software. We also store proprietary information and business secrets, and we employ third-party service providers that store, process and transmit such information on our behalf, in particular payment details. We also rely on encryption and authentication technology licensed from third parties to securely transmit sensitive and confidential information. We take steps such as the use of password policies and firewalls to protect the security, integrity and confidentiality of sensitive and confidential information that we and our third-party service providers store, process and transmit.
The African retail landscape is characterized by a high degree of fragmentation, which often exhibits no clear leading player in the markets in which we operate. On a regional or country level, we face competition from both offline and online companies across our broad offering. The vast majority of consumer expenditures is, however, still taking place offline.
Our offline competitors vary from market to market but typically include traditional brick-and-mortar retailers such as local or regional retails chains and informal, local stores. Our main online competitors include Amazon and noon in Egypt, Takealot and Superbalist (all part of the Naspers group) in South Africa, and Konga in Nigeria. Several global websites, such as Amazon, Asos, AliExpress (part of Alibaba group), and Shein also offer shipping services to certain African countries for a selection of products. With respect to JumiaPay, we face competition from a fragmented and growing base of fintech firms such as OPay and PalmPay in Nigeria. With respect to food delivery services, we face competition from Glovo, UberEats and Bolt Food.
Employees and Culture
Our employees are based in 17 countries, and 35% of our employees were female and 65% were male as of December 31, 2022. Our corporate culture is anchored in our entrepreneurial and collegial roots, and our employees are deeply committed to our success:
We seek to promote the following core values to drive the action of our employees every day:
•We are a group of leaders committed to winning the digital landscape in Africa.
•We achieve impact by thinking faster and executing better than any other business.
•We grow people who build businesses.
We believe that we maintain a good working relationship with our employees, and we have not experienced any significant labor disputes or any difficulty in recruiting staff for our operations. Our employees are not represented by any collective bargaining agreement or labor union, other than standard and non-binding personnel representations. Furthermore, we are committed to establishing and developing our workforce through succession planning, internal development and targeted external recruiting.
Our intellectual property, including copyrights and trademarks, is important to our business. We have registered trademarks in most relevant jurisdictions for “Jumia” and for “Zando” in South Africa. Our intellectual property portfolio includes numerous domain names for websites that we use in our business.
We control access to, use and distribution of our intellectual property through confidentiality procedures, non-disclosure agreements with third parties and our employment and contractor agreements. We rely on contractual provisions with our partners to protect our proprietary technology, brands and creative assets. We constantly monitor our trademarks in order to maintain and protect our intellectual property portfolio, including by pursuing any infringements by third parties.
We have taken out a number of group insurance policies that are customary in our industry, such as property and loss of earnings insurance, business liability insurance, including insurance for product liability, transport insurance and environmental liability insurance. We believe that our insurance policies contain market-standard exclusions and deductibles. We regularly review the adequacy of our insurance coverage and consider the scope of our insurance coverage to be customary in our industry.
Our headquarters are located at Skalitzer Straße 104, 10997 Berlin, Germany. Our lease is on a monthly basis.
As of the date of this Annual Report, we do not own any real estate property. The following table provides an overview of our material leased real estate property:
|Location||Approximate size of|
|(in square meters)|
|Land 21692, Nairobi, Kenya||100,000||Warehouse|
|Plot No. 64, New Cairo, Egypt||7,485||Warehouse|
|Plot 312, Idu Industrial District, Abuja, Nigeria||6,000||Warehouse|
|14, Montgomery Road, Sabo, Yaba, Lagos State, Nigeria||980||Office|
|Plot M232, Ntinda-Nakawa Industrial area, Uganda||6,676||Warehouse|
|Plot No. 272-273 sector, New Cairo, Egypt||2,174||Office|
|Cité Ouled Zidane N°25 Commune des Eucalyptus, Wilaya d'Alger||100||Warehouse|
|Cité Ouled Zidane N°25 Commune des Eucalyptus, Wilaya d'Alger||4,100||Warehouse|
|90's street , city center, 2nd section, building no. 185, 5th settlement ,New Cairo, Cairo ,Egypt||2,568||Office|
|Unit 6, 7, 8, West Building North Precinct, Topaz Boulevard Montagu Park, Cape Town, South Africa||8,037||Warehouse|
|Agility Business Parks, Autoroute du Nord PK26, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire||5,016||Warehouse|
|Plot No. 85 (eighty-five) - Industrial Zone - New Cairo - Cairo,Egypt||4,895||Warehouse|
|349 Herbert Macaulay, Yaba Lagos State, Nigeria||1,898||Office|
|Rue du lac Huron du côté Est, 1053 Tunis||1,799||Office|
|Boulevard Valery Giscard | d'Estaing, carrefour Solibra, Côte d'Ivoire||1,736||Office|
|Maua Close-Off Parklands Road Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya||1,938||Office|
| Route D’El Jadida d'un , Casablanca, Morocco||1,200||Warehouse|
|Thiaroye Sud, Dakar, Senegal||4,552||Warehouse|
|Piece No 96 - industrial zone - New Cairo - Egypt||4,760||Warehouse|
|N°123 Dely Ibrahim, Alger, Algerie||2,100||Office|
|Kantaria House, 25 Muindi MbinguStreet, Nairobi||12,692||Warehouse|
|Plot 78, Luthuli Avenue, Kampala, Uganda||734||Office|
|Plot No. 12, Block 62, Nasr City - Cairo, Egypt||346||Office|
|Rooms 2501-2 and 2502, Block B, Zhuoyue Meilin Central Plaza (South District), Meilin Road, Futian District, Shenzhen||471||Office|
| Route D’El Jadida d'un , Casablanca, Morocco||3,318||Warehouse|
|Zone Industrielle Koumassi, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire||9,900||Warehouse|
|Rue de l'Artisanat à Charguia, Tunisia||4,271||Warehouse|
|Rua Ricardo Severo, No. 3 - 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Floor, 4050‑515 Porto, Portugal||2,720||Office|