Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia saw its adjusted losses more than double in spite of sales increasing in the fourth quarter of last year, which the company put down to continued investment in building its product.
Jumia saw losses increase by 107.9% to hit EUR39.4 million, despite the company reporting a 22% increase in sales to EUR36.5 million.
The e-commerce platform has made a number of investments over the last year to build its ecosystem and improve efficiency, including launching its own payment platform, JumiaPay, to facilitate transactions between merchants and consumers.
Jumia also launched a consumer-facing payment mobile application – Jumia One – to enable customers to easily access digital services such as airtime, TV and utilities, and cut commissions to encourage more sellers to use its marketplace.
These initiatives drove up costs, but Jumia was able to report a 64.5% increase in gross merchandise volume (GMV), which hit EUR197.9 million compared with EUR120.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Jumia marketplace platforms also significantly scaled the number of orders, with year-on-year growth of 94%.
“We made great progress in 2017 with significant growth of the business, driven by technological innovations and improved relevance of the offering of goods and services. This growth is demonstrating the robust momentum in our core businesses and markets, and the increased adoption of online services by African consumers,” said Jumia co-CEOs Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara.
“We are also seeing good results from our strategy to further develop our logistics platform and our payment platform. Our customers continue to benefit from increasing access to great services, quality products, improved customer experience and the tremendous convenience of being able to shop online.”
Jumia reached the threshold of 550 million visits across Africa in 2017, while the number of products available on the platform reached over five million. Over eight million packages were handled through the Jumia logistic platform