German-based venture builder, Rocket Internet today released key financial results from 12 of its leading companies, including JUMIA, the company’s largest e-commerce operation in Africa.According to the H1 2014 report, JUMIA recorded €20.8 million ($26 million USD) in net revenues between January to June 2014, and although the e-commerce operation appears to be doing well based on its books, it would take a while before it can turn in profits. With a loss of $33.1 million and a negative EBITDA of $32.8 million during H1 2014, JUMIA is, as Financial Times puts it, a proven loser when it comes to trying to make a profit.
But Oliver Samwer, founder and chief executive of Rocket Internet sees it differently. According to Samwer,
“Rocket Internet has shown a strong performance in the first half of 2014: We are well on track and our Proven Winners performed in line with our expectations. Our network of companies is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the growth of Internet commerce in emerging markets. It is our goal to launch again at least ten new startups in 2015 and continue to invest in our existing companies, our own proprietary technology, our geographic footprint, our infrastructure and processes, and our outstanding people around the globe.”
As JUMIA continues to move towards a marketplace model, the company’s management expects that gross merchandise volume would become the most relevant metric to judge topline growth. Interestingly, the online retailer’s gross merchandise volume, that is the total value of “total transactions” sold in the period, doubled from $16.7 million in H1 2013 to $33.7 million in H1 2014, representing a 99% growth.
The e-commerce company also saw an increase in its net working capital from a -$2.5 million balance in 2013 to $7.4 million in H1 2014. The number of transactions recorded totaled over 430,000 in H1 2014, a 150% growth increase in comparison to H1 2013.
As at end of June 2014, the online retailer had 270,000 active customers across its seven operations in Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Morocco.