Jumia becomes 1st African start-up to list on New York Stock Exchange

Jumia Technologies, a pan-African technology company, has listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), becoming the first-ever technology company from Africa to list on the world’s largest stock exchange.

The largest e-commerce operator in Africa started its first day of trading with an opening price of $14.50 but the stock traded at the close of the day at $25.46 per share.

The initial public offering (IPO) of the pan-regional tech start-up, founded in Lagos in 2012, surged more than 75 per cent on its first day of trading at NYSE on Friday.

Jumia Nigeria CEO Juliet Anammah, was present to ring a ceremonial bell when the company’s stock began trading on the floor of NYSE.

Mr Alex Ibrahim, Head of International Capital Markets at the NYSE, said was Jumia listed as an African technology company on the stock exchange.

According to him, however, Germany was only Jumia’s country of incorporation and the technology giant was a pan-African company.

“We are very excited about Africa because what we saw here today was amazing. This company priced extremely well, traded up largest volumes.

“So, that showed the interests by investors not only very large institutions but even the retails here in the U.S., the dynamics was extremely impressive.

“We are expecting to see other companies from the region in different segments of the tech space to potentially consider U.S. listing,” he said.

Ms Lisette Kwong, Corporate Communications officer, Intercontinental Exchange at the New York Stock Exchange, also told NAN that Jumia’s IPO was set at $14.50 but it actually opened and closed at higher prices.

“Last night before the stock opened, it was set at the price of $14.50. The opening price was $18.95 and then it closed at the end of the day at $25.25. So, it was really great,” Kwong said.

According to Ibrahim, Jumia had a 30 per cent bump at the opening and then continued to trade up until the end of the day. So as we said, it was a very successful transaction; a lot of demand.

“The interests by the U.S. investors was extremely strong so I’m assuming that investors will continue to look into Jumia because they provide the vehicle to tap into the region that is growing and providing access to U.S. investors to buy these products that actually mirrors the growth of the region,” Ibrahim said.

He said Jumia chose to list on New York Stock Exchange as against NASDAQ, which was usually traditional technology companies, because it saw the benefits.

Ibrahim said NYSE had large volatility than its competitor, NASDAQ, adding that NYSE provides more visibility, certainty of execution and when companies do transactions, they trade very well. 

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