By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor &Henry Ojelu
E-commerce firm Jumia Nigeria Limited, yesterday said it was considering its options – including taking legal action, against Citron Research, following the latter’s controversial report last Friday.
This is also as it explained why it posted strong Gross Merchandise Volume, GMV of 58 percent year on year.
GMV for e-commerce retail companies means sale price charged to the customer multiplied by the number of items sold.
Jumia also said it posted about 1.3 million new active customers between the first quarter of 2018 and same time in 2019 even as it improved on other revenue streams because it spent less in brand awareness having become a house hold name.
Jumia, on April 12, became the first African tech stock to list on Wall Street and its shares soared, amid suggestions that it is the ‘Amazon or Alibaba of Africa’.
However, the shares fell sharply after Citron Research, a US- based online investment newsletter published reports which questioned some of Jumia’s sales figures and accused the firm of fraud, among other allegations. The shares have since risen again.
Jumia Nigeria’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Juliet Anammah, who met with journalists at the firm’s corporate headquarters in Lagos yesterday, said the company stood by its disclosures to the public.
Anammah explained that Jumia was considering its options and would report back to shareholders.
Anammah defended her firm against three specific issues raised in the Citron report: fraud involving top Jumia management; recent cases of fraud show heightened risk at Jumia; and that Jumia has allegedly shown a pattern of corporate fraud in the past.
She dismissed the allegations as false and deliberately aimed at hurting Jumia.
Her words: “Some recent allegations were made about Jumia on the basis of selected, biased or unverified facts with what appears to be a clear objective of damaging Jumia.
“We held our earnings call on Monday May 13th and we published our first quarter results, which we are very pleased with, and provided information to demonstrate that those recent allegations are wrong.”
She encouraged the public to download the company’s results, which “are publicly available,” and verify things for themselves.
Anammah added: “We stand by the disclosures we made in our prospectus, which accurately describe our business and the related risks in all material respects. We are very excited about the future and our prospects.
“We will not be distracted from executing on our strategy and carrying out our mission by people who seek to create doubt to profit at our company’s expense.
“In March, BCG published a report explaining that online marketplaces had the potential to create 3 million new jobs across the African continent by 2025.
“We very much believe in the positive impact of technology, and of Jumia, for the continent, and we look forward to continuing to create positive impact in the future.”