Jumia Group (formerly Africa Internet Group), has for the second consecutive year been named in the list of MIT’s 50 smartest companies – 2017. This year, Jumia ranks at position 44 as compared to 47 on the 2016 list, standing out as a company working to overcome the challenges of e-commerce in Africa. These include clogged roadways, skeptical consumers, and lack of internet penetration in some markets with an regional rate of only 27% among others.
“Jumia Group is once more proud for the recognition of our persistence in fully harnessing Africa’s untapped digital potential. We believe that through technological innovations, we drive our commitment to inject feasible solutions into Africa’s economy,” says Jumia Group’s co-founder Sacha Poignonnec.
The MIT Technology Review recognized Jumia as the continent’s first “unicorn” startup, valued at over USD1 billion. Now operating various consumer web services including Africa’s biggest online shopping mall ‘Jumia Mall’, as well as ‘Jumia Travel’ the leading travel agency in the continent, the group aims at unlocking the spending potential of an expanding middle class which accounts for every 1 out of 3 Africans. Other ventures under the group also continue to lead in their respective sectors such as food delivery, real estate, logistics, and cars among others.
Estelle Verdier, the COO & Co-founder of Jumia Travel expressed her excitement towards the recognition saying, “it is an assurance of our devotion to make the impossibilities in Africa, such as providing affordable travel now possible through technology.”
Timothy Mugume, the Country Manager of Jumia Travel Uganda was excited by the news saying, ” This recognition is a strong indicator on how Jumia is revolutionising how we do business in Uganda, and Africa at large. We remain dedicated to meet all of our customers demands by providing innovative, relevant and cost saving solutions in the Travel Industry.”
First published in 2010, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Smartest Companies list of 2017 features other giant companies including Amazon, Alibaba, Facebook, Microsoft, SpaceX, and Kenya’s off-grid solar operator M-Kopa.
Florentin de LOPPINOT also added that “The winners have undergone and completed a mentorship program with Enterprise Uganda in field Support on entrepreneurship, Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) for product development and Makerere University Business School business Entrepreneurship centre.”
While speaking about the mentoring program, Sarah Kyejjusa, the deputy Executive Makerere University Business School Entrepreneurship centre one of the mentors said that the mentorship program is a great way to ensure that these projects are sustainable.
The Startupper of the Year by Total is a 360 degree customized incubation and coaching project that ensures sustainability and growth of projects into robust businesses that will employ Ugandans and directly contribute to economic development.
Total Uganda will launch the second edition of the “Startupper of The Year Challenge” later this year to identify, reward and support the best projects in enterprise creation and development in Uganda.