“In 18 years of publishing, Citron has never seen such an obvious fraud as Jumia.” These are the opening words of Citron Research’s 12 page PowerPoint Presentation which is linked down below. This is what has led to the close to 20% fall in share price as this information becomes public.
Jumia is the biggest e-commerce company in Africa, and just a few weeks ago, they went public on the New York Stock Exchange amid lots of praise including being called the ‘Amazon of Africa’. You’ll remember just after going live, there was much talk about how African the company really was given that it is French owned, German Registered and only hires devs from Portugal. The CEO had an interview where he said the company doesn’t employ African developers because ‘there’s not enough development and developers in Africa’.
Given that Jumia has operated in Africa for a while now, setting up shop in many African countries, many people believed that them going public was a great pointer at the great potential for e-commerce in Africa. This remains true though despite the damming report that claims inflated active customer and merchant numbers, and non-delivered orders.
A few weeks before the IPO, Jumia revelead that it lost at least Sh 118 million in the last two years due to consumer cyber fraud and a robbery. This was done in their filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which may now have to investigate them for fraud given the report by Citron.
Citron is reporting that over 41% of orders were returned, not delivered, or cancelled. A fact the company failed to include in thei F-1 filing. Instead, Jumia disclosed that “orders accounting for 14.4% of our GMV were either failed deliveries or returned by our consumers” in 2018.
The report also says Jumia’s corportate fraud is well documented by local Nigerian newspapers. And that the systemic fraud starts all the way from the top with Jumia Co-CEO, Jeremy Hodara citing extremely questionable related party transactions.
Jumia’s future now seems unclear as the Citron Report believes there’s more that will be un-earthed when the SEC fully investigates the company.
Here’s Citron’s Full Report.