The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, has named African Internet Group, which recently rebranded to Jumia, amongst the world’s 50 Smartest Companies for 2016.
MIT editors picked 50 companies worldwide that best combine innovative technology with effective business models, taking into account the results emanating from a set agenda in their respective sectors over the past 12 months. Jumia, the only e-commerce company in Africa to have made the list, ranks no. 47 amongst other tech giants like Amazon, Huawei, Facebook, Microsoft and more.
Ranked just after social media phenomenon Snapchat, Jumia (formerly Africa Internet Group) is recognized by MIT as a leader in its sector, using technology to redefine multiple industries. Through its 9 services, Jumia provides online solutions to the African consumer in an array of sectors: hospitality, food, general merchandise (electronics and fashion), deals, jobs, cars and houses. The MIT Editors mention in particular the general merchandise online retail store Jumia, which bears the flagship name, as a true game changer, redefining the way the African consumers shop. Other services mentioned are Jumia Travel (formerly Jovago), the leading hotel booking portal, and Jumia Classifieds comprising four online marketplaces for jobs, deals, cars and houses.
Jumia’s vision and objectives have been backed by household names such as Telecom giants MTN and Orange, leading insurance and financial company Axa Mansard, Millicom and Rocket Internet who see the group as a way of accessing the continent’s developing and promising online economy. Indeed, Jumia Group has contributed immensely to the digitization of the African ecosystem – 1 in every 25 Africans visited Jumia websites in 2015, and more than 50% of those visits are made via a mobile phone. The different services of Jumia are among the top 6 visited websites in the countries in which it operates and accounts more than 15 million visitors each month.
According to the Chief Marketing Officer of Jumia, Fatoumata Ba, “We are humbled to be recognized for our role in redefining the way Africans shop, travel, buy and sell. Our strength comes from our deep knowledge of our customers and of the countries we operate in. This has allowed us to build solutions and services that are entirely tailored to the behaviors and realities on ground such as low bancarization that we address through cash on delivery, relatively low internet penetration that we address through our offline sales force and a strong reliance on mobile which we have understood, by providing a great electronic assortment with leading brands and providing an amazing mobile shopping experience to our customers. We will continue to develop those services with as much passion as when we started in 2012 and hopefully rank even higher in the MIT list next year!”