|Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers|
|Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable|
|Item 3. Key Information|
|Item 4. Information on The Company|
|Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments|
|Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects|
|Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees|
|Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions|
|Item 8. Financial Information|
|Item 9. The Offer and Listing|
|Item 10. Additional Information|
|Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk|
|Item 12. Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities|
|Item 13. Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies|
|Item 14. Material Modifications To The Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds|
|Item 15. Controls and Procedures|
|Item 16A. Audit Committee Financial Expert|
|Item 16B. Code of Ethics|
|Item 16C. Principal Accountant Fees and Services|
|Item 16D. Exemptions From The Listing Standards for Audit Committees|
|Item 16E. Purchases of Equity Securities By The Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers|
|Item 16F. Change in Registrant's Certifying Accountant|
|Item 16G. Corporate Governance|
|Item 16H. Mine Safety Disclosure|
|Item 17. Financial Statements|
|Item 18. Financial Statements|
|Item 19. Exhibits|
|Balance Sheet||Income Statement||Cash Flow|
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
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:
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
(Translation of registrant’s name into English)
+49 (30) 398 20 34 51
(Address of registrant’s registered office)
(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
Name of Each Exchange On Which Registered
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.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
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.
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.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted 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 and post such files).
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 (Check one):
Large accelerated filer ◻
Accelerated Filer ◻
Emerging Growth Company
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.
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP ◻
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 ◻ Item 18 ◻
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
1 Not for trading, but only in connection with the listing on The New York Stock Exchange of American Depository Shares.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Prior to January 31, 2019, we conducted our business through Africa Internet Holding GmbH and its subsidiaries. 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 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 in existence as the same legal entity with a new legal form and name. 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 euros, which are denoted “euros,” “EUR” or “€” throughout this Annual Report on Form 20-F (“Annual Report”) and refer to the currency introduced at the start of the third stage of European economic and monetary union pursuant to the treaty establishing the European Community, as amended. Also, throughout this Annual Report, the terms “dollar,” “USD” or “$” refer to U.S. dollars. Unless otherwise noted, all translations of euro amounts into dollar amounts were calculated at a rate of €1.00 = $1.1227, which equals the noon buying rate of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on December 31, 2019. You should not assume that, on that or any other date, one could have converted these amounts of euros into dollars at this exchange rate.
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 Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”), GSMA, Ovum, the Alliance for Affordable Internet, 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.
Industry publications, research, surveys, studies and forecasts included in this Annual Report were prepared before the pandemic spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel strain of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and have not been updated for the potential effects of this pandemic. We are not able to determine whether the third parties who have prepared such sources will revise their estimates and projections due to the impact of COVID-19.
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 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 set forth in Item 3. “Key Information—D. Risk Factors,” including 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;|
|●||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;|
|●||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.|
|●||growth of internet penetration in the markets in which we currently operate;|
|●||we face competition, which may intensify;|
|●||we may not be able to adapt to changes in our industry or successfully launch and monetize new and innovative technologies;|
|●||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 be unable to maintain and expand our relationships with sellers or to find additional sellers for our marketplace;|
|●||we may fail to maintain or grow the size of our consumer base or the level of engagement of our consumers;|
|●||we face challenges with failed deliveries, excessive returns, late collections, unrecoverable receivables and voucher abuse, which may materially and adversely affect our business and prospects;|
|●||we depend on third-party carriers as part of our fulfillment process;|
|●||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 may fail to deal effectively with any fraud perpetrated and fictitious transactions conducted on our platform;|
|●||we and certain of our board members and officers have been named as defendants in several shareholder class action lawsuits|
|●||our payment service, JumiaPay, could fail to function properly, and we may not be able to expand or integrate JumiaPay into other online portals;|
|●||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 these issues were enacted in the countries where JumiaPay operate;|
|●||any failure to maintain, protect and enhance our reputation and brand may adversely affect our business;|
|●||we may fail to operate, maintain, integrate and upgrade our technology infrastructure, or to adopt and apply technological advances;|
|●||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; and|
|●||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.|
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.
Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Item 3. Key Information
A. Selected Financial Information
The following tables present the selected consolidated financial information for our company. The financial data as of and for the years ended December 31, 2017, December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2019 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes, which are included elsewhere in this Annual Report and which have been prepared in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB.
The financial data presented below are not necessarily indicative of the financial results to be expected for any future periods. The financial data below do not contain all the information included in our financial statements. You should read this information in conjunction with Item 5. “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects,” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes, each included elsewhere in this Annual Report.
Consolidated Statement of Operations
For the year ended December 31,
(in millions, except for per share data)
Cost of revenue
Sales and advertising expense
Technology and content expense
General and administrative expense(2)
Other operating income
Other operating expense
Loss before income tax
Income tax expense
Net Loss attributable to equity holders of the Company
Net Loss per share
Shares used in loss per share computation
Loss per American Depositary Share ("ADS", each ADS representing two ordinary shares)
ADSs used in loss per ADS computation
|(1)||Revenue and sales and advertising expense for 2017 and 2018 have been restated to reflect the impact of the reclassification of certain types of vouchers, consumer and partner incentives from sales and advertising expense to revenue.|
|(2)||Includes share-based compensation of €26.3 million in 2017, €17.4 million in 2018 and of €37.3 million in 2019.|
Consolidated Statement of Financial Position Data
As of December 31,
Equity attributable to the equity holders of the Company
Total equity and liabilities
Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows
For the year ended December 31,
Net cash flows used in operating activities
Net cash flows used in investing activities
Net cash flows from financing activities
Net increase in cash and cash equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the year
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year
Selected Other Data(1)
For the year ended December 31,
Annual Active Consumers
|(1)||See “Non-IFRS and Other Financial and Operating Metrics” below.|
|(2)||For information on our GMV as adjusted for perimeter changes as a result of the portfolio optimization undertaken during the fourth quarter of 2019 as further described under Item 4. “Information on the Company—A. History and Development of the Company—Corporate History and Recent Transactions” as well as improper sales practices as further described under Item 4. “Information on the Company—A. History and Development of the Company—Sales Practices Review”, see Item 5. “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—Operating Results—Comparison of Fiscal Years Ended December 31, 2018 and December 31, 2019—Consolidated Statement of Operations—Quarterly Data.”|
Non-IFRS and Other Financial and Operating Metrics
We have included in this Annual Report certain financial measures and metrics not based on IFRS, including Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA Margin as well as operating metrics, including GMV, Annual Active Consumers, Orders, TPV and JumiaPay Transactions.
We define Adjusted EBITDA as loss for the year adjusted for income tax expense (benefit), finance income, finance costs, depreciation and amortization and further adjusted by share-based payment expense.
Adjusted EBITDA is a supplemental non-IFRS measure of our operating performance that is not required by, or presented in accordance with, IFRS. Adjusted EBITDA is not a measurement of our financial performance under IFRS and should not be considered as an alternative to loss for the year, loss before income tax or any other performance measure derived in accordance with IFRS. We caution investors that amounts presented in accordance with our definition of Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similar measures disclosed by other companies, because not all companies and analysts calculate Adjusted EBITDA in the same manner. We present Adjusted EBITDA because we consider it to be an important supplemental measure of our operating performance. Management believes that investors’ understanding of our performance is enhanced by including non-IFRS financial measures as a reasonable basis for understanding our ongoing results of operations. By providing this non-IFRS financial measure, together with a reconciliation to the nearest IFRS financial measure, we believe we are enhancing investors’ understanding of our business and our results of operations, as well as assisting investors in evaluating how well we are executing our strategic initiatives.
Management uses Adjusted EBITDA:
|●||as a measurement of operating performance because it assists us in comparing our operating performance on a consistent basis, as it removes the impact of items not directly resulting from our core operations;|
|●||for planning purposes, including the preparation of our internal annual operating budget and financial projections;|
|●||to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of our strategic initiatives; and|
|●||to evaluate our capacity to expand our business.|
Items excluded from this non-IFRS measure are significant components in understanding and assessing financial performance. Adjusted EBITDA has limitations as an analytical tool and should not be considered in isolation, or as an alternative to, or a substitute for analysis of our results reported in accordance with IFRS, including loss for the year. Some of the limitations are:
|●||Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect our share-based payments, income tax expense (benefit) or the amounts necessary to pay our taxes;|
|●||although depreciation and amortization are eliminated in the calculation of Adjusted EBITDA, the assets being depreciated and amortized will often have to be replaced in the future and such measures do not reflect any costs for such replacements; and|
|●||other companies may calculate Adjusted EBITDA differently than we do, limiting its usefulness as a comparative measure.|
Due to these limitations, Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as a measure of discretionary cash available to us to invest in the growth of our business. We compensate for these and other limitations by providing a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to the most directly comparable IFRS financial measure, loss for the year.
The following tables provide a reconciliation of loss for the year to Adjusted EBITDA for the periods indicated:
For the year ended December 31,
Loss for the year
Income tax expense
Depreciation and amortization
(unaudited, in millions)
Loss for the period
Income tax expense
Depreciation and amortization
|(1)||Due to rounding, the sum of quarterly amounts may not equal the amounts reported for the relevant full-year period.|
(unaudited, in millions)
Loss for the period
Income tax expense
Depreciation and amortization
(unaudited, in millions)
Loss for the period
Income tax expense (benefit)
Depreciation and amortization
Annual Active Consumers
“Annual Active Consumers” means unique consumers who placed an order for a product or a service on our platform, within the 12-month period preceding the relevant date, irrespective of cancellations or returns.
We believe that Annual Active Consumers is a useful indicator for adoption of our offering by consumers in our markets.
“Orders” corresponds to the total number of orders for products and services on our platform, irrespective of cancellations or returns, for the relevant period.
We believe that the number of orders is a useful indicator to measure the total usage of our platform, irrespective of the monetary value of the individual transactions.
“Gross Merchandise Value” (“GMV”) corresponds to the total value of orders for products and services, including shipping fees, value added tax, and before deductions of any discounts or vouchers, irrespective of cancellations or returns for the relevant period.
We believe that GMV is a useful indicator for the usage of our platform that is not influenced by shifts in our sales between first-party and third-party sales or the method of payment.
We use Annual Active Consumers, Orders and GMV as some of many indicators to monitor usage of our platform.
Total Payment Volume
“Total Payment Volume” (“TPV”) corresponds to the total value of orders for products and services processed using JumiaPay including shipping fees, value-added tax, and before deductions of any discounts or vouchers, irrespective of cancellations or returns, for the relevant period.
We believe that TPV, which corresponds to the share of GMV for which JumiaPay was used as the relevant payment method, provides a useful indicator of the development, and adoption by consumers, of our payment services offerings.
“JumiaPay Transactions” corresponds to the total number of orders for products and services on our marketplace processed using JumiaPay, irrespective of cancellations or returns, for the relevant period.
We believe that JumiaPay Transactions provides a useful indicator of the development, and adoption by consumers, of our payment services offerings for orders on our platform irrespective of the monetary value of the individual transactions.
We use TPV and the number of JumiaPay Transactions to measure the development of our payment services.
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 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 €165.4 million in 2017, a loss for the year of €170.4 million in 2018 and a loss for the year of €227.1 million in 2019. As of December 31, 2019, we had accumulated losses of €1.1 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. We expect that our operating expenses will 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, we will 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 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, which 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 COVID-19, which could significantly disrupt our supply chain, disrupt our operations and negatively affect our development.
Our business could be adversely impacted by the outbreak of epidemics or pandemics, such as COVID-19. The COVID-19 outbreak 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 outbreak 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 venders on our platform may be forced to shut down and may go out of business which may negatively impact our results.|
|●||The COVID-19 pandemic has already negatively impacted consumer sentiment in many of our countries of operation, which has led to a reduction in discretionary spending. While we may benefit from a shift from offline to online trade, there can be no assurance that the effects of this shift will outweigh the negative impact caused by a change in consumer sentiment.|
|●||Any fears among consumers that COVID-19 could be transmitted through goods shipped by us, reduced consumer spending on discretionary items or the economic consequences of administrative measures to limit the spreading of COVID-19 may significantly negatively affect our sales.|
|●||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.|
|●||We have been required to temporarily shut down our fulfilment center in South Africa. Any further 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. We may be required, or may decide, to reduce our expenses, including through a review of our size of operations and of the remuneration of our work force. Any decision to reduce expenses may negatively impact our operations and reputation. Further, COVID-19 may lead to unrest, instability and crisis in our countries of operation, which may further impact negatively our business. COVID-19 may also negatively affect our ability to raise additional capital, as our business results may be negatively affected and as markets and investors may not be willing to invest in companies such as us. Protracted negative effects on investor confidence may require us to significantly cut our spending, which may lead to a decline in our usage indicators and revenue.
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, the Arab Spring of 2010 and 2011 caused substantial political turmoil across the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in Egypt. During this period of instability in Egypt, the government temporarily dissolved the parliament, suspended the constitution and shut down the internet. As we were founded only in 2012, this temporary shut-down of the internet did not affect us. Any similar shut-down in the future will, however, 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 €121 million into Nigeria as of December 31, 2019. While Jumia has obtained valid CCIs for approximately €90.5 million, Jumia currently does not hold CCIs for the remaining amount. Jumia currently does not anticipate any need to repatriate funds from Nigeria in the medium term. In the meantime, Jumia intends to work with the Nigerian authorities to obtain the additional CCIs that would allow Jumia to repatriate these funds and related proceeds. However, there can be no assurance that Jumia will be successful in obtaining these certificates. Any failure to obtain the required certificates could impact Jumia’s ability to repatriate these funds and related proceeds or the exchange rate at which a repatriation could be effected.
In the future, the level of intervention by African governments may continue to increase. The recent COVID-19 pandemic may serve as a catalyst for increasing government intervention. 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 and weather conditions. For example, a collapse in oil prices in early 2016 placed pressure on Nigeria’s currency, causing a currency shortage and threatening substantial inflation. The decrease in oil prices in early 2020 may have even more severe consequences on Nigeria’s currency and economy. Many of our sellers in Nigeria had to scale back imports and were unable to meet consumer demand for their products. Consumer spending also declined in the face of significant price increases. 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.
In addition, the outbreak of diseases or epidemics, such as COVID-19, in any of the markets in which we operate could negatively impact levels of economic activity and depress consumer demand. 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 potentially resulting 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. For example, the annual inflation rate in Egypt was highly volatile during 2019, decreasing to 3.6% in November 2019 from 12.7% in January 2019, with a February 2019 high of 14.4%. By contrast, the inflation rate in Nigeria increased steadily during 2019, from 11.37% in January 2019 to 11.85% in November 2019. The highest ever inflation rate in Nigeria was 47.6%. 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. For example, in late 2018, we experienced an isolated incident in which our warehouse in Kenya was robbed, and merchandise with a value of approximately €500,000 was stolen. Violent crimes may increase as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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. A terrorist attack in Nairobi in January 2019 by Somalia-based militant group al-Shabab drew increased attention to the risks of destabilization in Kenya. 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.
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 continued 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. In addition, 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.
Our business model relies upon the continued growth of internet penetration and other external factors, some of which are beyond our control.
Our business model relies on the continued growth of internet penetration in our markets and use of the internet as a platform for online consumer transactions. Rapid growth in the use of and interest in the internet, particularly as a way to conduct commerce, is a recent phenomenon, and there can be no assurance that this acceptance and use will continue to exist or develop. To grow our user base successfully, consumers who have historically used traditional means of commerce to purchase goods and services must accept and use new ways of conducting business and exchanging information and funds online.
The continued growth of our business and e-commerce will depend on a number of factors, some of which are beyond our control, including, the establishment and extension of broadband access, the popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices, the cost of internet access and mobile data, the trust and confidence level of e-commerce sellers and consumers, and 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. Several companies that operate e-commerce websites have been successful and profitable in the past in other parts of the world; however, we operate in a business environment that is different from other e-commerce companies operating outside of Africa. Therefore, you should not interpret the success of any of these companies as indicative of our financial prospects.
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 Souq.com (a company affiliated with 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, UberEast and OFood 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 or Alibaba, 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. New entrants tied to established brands may engender greater user confidence in the safety and efficacy of their 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, such as our payment service, JumiaPay. 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 100 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, 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.
The continued 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.
Since our founding in 2012, we have experienced significant growth in our usage indicators, such as Annual Active Consumers or GMV and revenue. There can be no assurance that our growth will be sustainable and that we will continue to experience growth in the future. To support our path to profitability, we may reduce promotional intensity and consumer incentives, which may negatively affect GMV and revenue growth. External effects, such as the recent COVID-19 outbreak, which caused challenges for our cross-border business and created procurement issues for our sellers, may also negatively affect our growth trajectory. Even without these effects, we anticipate that our relative growth rate will decline over time as we achieve higher market penetration rates. Slowing growth rates mean that our business performance will become increasingly dependent on our ability to, among other things, use our operating leverage, increase our fulfillment efficiencies and decrease marketing costs in relation to our revenue. 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 and revenue 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. While any such increase would lead to a significant increase in revenue, our profit margins could be negatively affected, as we have historically recorded lower profit margins on first-party sales than on third-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. Similarly, we risk alienating small, local sellers as our company grows and we provide increasing exposure to larger sellers who can more easily adapt pricing strategies and product offerings to meet the needs of consumers.
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.
Our business growth and revenue may also be affected if we are unsuccessful in retaining our current consumer base or adding new consumers. Any decrease in the number of sellers and product offerings could lead to a corresponding decrease in Annual Active Consumers. Additionally, the costs of consumer retention may increase for various reasons, which could negatively affect our revenue. Our expansion into new markets may place us in unfamiliar competitive environments or may require us to invest significant resources, and there is no assurance that returns on such investments will be achieved.
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 not be able to maintain or improve the network effects of our platform, which could negatively affect our business and prospects.
Our ability to maintain or improve our platform around our marketplace, logistics and payment services is critical to our success. The extent to which we are able to maintain or strengthen these network effects depends on our ability to execute a number of challenging tasks, including:
|●||offer a secure, fast and user-friendly platform, especially a mobile platform, for all participants;|
|●||provide tools and services that meet the evolving needs of sellers, consumers and other participants;|
|●||provide a wide range of high-quality product and service offerings;|
|●||provide sellers with a high level of relevant traffic flow and effective online services;|
|●||provide an efficient logistics service and coordinate a large number of fragmented third-party logistics and delivery companies;|
|●||attract and retain third-party service providers who are able to provide quality services on commercially reasonable terms to our sellers;|
|●||provide secure, trusted and convenient payment solution services;|
|●||maintain the quality of our consumer service and consumer protection; and|
|●||continue adapting to the changing demands of the markets in which we operate.|
In addition, changes we may make to enhance and improve our platform may be viewed positively from one participant group’s perspective and negatively from another group’s perspective.
If we fail to maintain or improve our platform by balancing the interests of all participants, sellers, consumers or other participants may stop visiting our marketplace, conduct fewer transactions on our marketplace or use alternative platforms, any of which 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.
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 Annual 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. While our consumer base has expanded significantly, we cannot assure you 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 seek 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.
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, only be interested in listing goods with a high value, 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 recent COVID-19 outbreak, may have a material adverse effect on our revenue.
Where we engage directly in selling goods, we take on inventory risk. Although many of our inventory-related systems are automated, some internal processes at our warehouses are handled manually, which may result in errors. 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 have experienced an increase in the incidence of 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 remains high.
For example, in Kenya, where approximately 95% of our consumers paid in cash or with cash equivalents on delivery in 2016, we discovered in early 2018 that €720 thousand of cash payments remained uncollected in 2016, the large majority of which was never subsequently collected. The extent of the effect on our cash flows in 2016 was due to our previous use of an insufficient cash reconciliation system, which has now been replaced with an automated system that allows us to monitor transactions in each of our markets on a daily basis. Even though we have taken measures to reduce the risks of fraud and uncollected receivables, these risks – whether facilitated by our employees, sellers, partners or consumers – remain, due largely to the prevalence of cash on delivery in many of our markets.
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 marketplaces (for example, content verification for new sellers or for sellers who sell goods at prices that seem too low for genuine goods) to minimize potential violations and/or infringement of third-party intellectual property rights, these measures may not always be successful.
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. For example, we do not allow the listing and sale of prescription medication on our marketplace. We delist any seller who does not comply with this policy. 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. For example, in January 2017, the Consumer Protection Agency in Egypt investigated the sale of unlisted drugs on our platform. As a result of this investigation, we were fined €5,000. Regardless of the validity of any claims made against us, we may incur significant costs and efforts to defend against or settle such claims. 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 marketplaces, 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. In early 2019, we also received information alleging that a seller in Morocco paid one of our employees in order to receive favorable marketing treatment and, after an internal review, delisted the seller.
In addition, we received information in early 2019 alleging that some of our independent sales consultants, members of our JForce program (“JForce”) in Nigeria, may have engaged in improper sales practices. Through an internal review of our sales practices covering all of our countries of operation and data from January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019, we identified several JForce agents and sellers who collaborated with employees in order to benefit from differences between commissions charged to sellers and higher commissions paid to JForce agents. In mid-2019 and late 2019, we identified instances where improper orders were placed, including through the JForce program, and subsequently cancelled. These transactions had virtually no impact on our financial statements. In aggregate, the
improper orders identified generated less than 3% of our GMV in 2018, concentrated in the fourth quarter, and less than 2% of our GMV in 2019.
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. We have identified allegations of employee misconduct, which 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. For example, a group of consumers in Kenya fraudulently used electronic payment suppliers to acquire approximately €550,000 in goods on our marketplace in December 2017. Consumer fraud may harm seller confidence in the integrity of our marketplace and the certainty of payment.
We and certain of our board members and officers have been named as defendants in several shareholder class action lawsuits, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operation, prospects and reputation.
In 2019, several putative class action lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the New York County Supreme Court against us, certain of our officers, the members of our Supervisory Board, the underwriters of our initial public offering and, in New York State court, our auditor and our authorized representative. We are currently unable to estimate the potential loss, if any, associated with the resolution of such lawsuits, if they proceed. We anticipate that we will continue to be a target for lawsuits in the future, including putative class action lawsuits brought by shareholders. There can be no assurance that we will be able to prevail in our defense or reverse any unfavorable judgment on appeal, and we may decide to settle lawsuits on unfavorable terms. Any adverse outcome of these cases, including any plaintiffs’ appeal of the judgment in these cases, could result in payments of substantial monetary damages or fines, or changes to our business practices, and thus have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operation, prospects and reputation. In addition, there can be no assurance that our insurance carriers will cover all or part of the defense costs, or any liabilities that may arise from these matters. The litigation process may utilize a significant portion of our cash resources and divert management’s attention from the day-to-day operations of our company, all of which could harm our business. We also may be subject to claims for indemnification related to these matters, and we cannot predict the impact that indemnification claims may have on our business or financial results.
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 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. 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 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