Africa Internet Group, the company behind the continent’s biggest ecommerce company Jumia, has raised €225m ($245 m) in one of the biggest fundraising rounds yet seen for any Africa-focused technology company.
The investment comes just weeks after the company announced that Axa, the French insurance group, had invested €75m for an 8 per cent stake in the group.
This fundraising round includes investment bank Goldman Sachs, as well long-time backers MTN, the South African telecoms group, the German start-up incubator Rocket Internet and values the group at more than €1bn.
Sacha Poignonnec, Africa Internet Group’s co-chief executive, says the new funding reflects the business’s “huge growth potential”, as investors look to profit from the increasing number of African consumers going online.
Revenues for the overall group increased by 282 per cent in 2015, helping the company’s valuation to more than double in little over a year.
Jules Frebault, an executive director at Goldman Sachs, says the bank was attracted by the company’s reach across the continent and “execution capabilities”, gave the business “a leading role in the development of Africa’s online economy”.
Africa Internet Group and Jumia were founded with an investment from Rocket in 2012, and entered a partnership with Swedish telecoms group Millicom the same year.
The group has gone on to create 71 different companies across 26 African countries, including the online delivery service Hellofood, a hotel booking company called Jovago, and the ride-hailing service Easy Taxi.
Jumia, which is the biggest of the group’s businesses, was launched in Nigeria and now operates in Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.