Photograph — The Nerve Africa

Nigeria’s online shopping platform, Jumia has announced its partnership with the financial service company, MasterCard. This collaboration covers a €50 million that MasterCard will be investing in the e-commerce market. This strategic partnership is aimed at improving and growing e-commerce operations and support the digital transformation of the continent.

According to the co-Chief Executive Officers of Jumia, Sacha Poignonnec, and Jeremy Hodara, “we believe that Jumia is increasingly relevant for consumers and sellers in Africa. Looking ahead, we remain focused on our core operations, driving consumer adoption and engagement on our marketplace, increasing the penetration of JumiaPay, while continuing to improve our financial profile and making a sustainable impact on the continent”.

MasterCard and Jumia’s partnership will cover a number of initiatives such as the development and marketing of co-branded products like virtual cards and quick response codes. Both companies have proved to be keen about driving financial inclusion within and across Africa.

This partnership is coming a few days after allegations emerged that the online store inflated the number of its customers and active participants

Jumia reported a rise in active consumer numbers from 2.1 million in October investor presentation to 2.7 million by April while active merchants moved to 53,000 from 43,000 during the same period.

Just like any company intending to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), it has to file for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) with information about its operations, including Jumia’s active customers and merchants.

The initial report was tendered at the confidential investor presentation in October 2018, and the second was made to the Securities Exchange Commission.

A report by Citron research described Jumia’s reports as material discrepancies, “When a company markets to investors ahead of its IPO and then a few months later omits material facts and makes material changes to its key financial metrics to make the business seem viable, this is securities fraud,” the report says.

The e-commerce company has denied these allegations, Mr. Poignonnec maintains that the company will completely stand by the numbers stated and will not be distracted by those who seek to create doubt to make a profit at Jumia’s expense.

Despite this, this new partnership proves Jumia is determined to move forward and champion a digital Africa despite all odds. It has posed as a suitable brand for more foreign investors, including partnerships with Chinese technology leader Xiaomi, American cosmetics brand Estée Lauder Companies, and a host of others.

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