It seems every week a Rocket Internet product (they call them companies, but let’s be honest) is announcing some eight to nine figure fundraising and launching in a suite of countries. Today, the launch is in the Ivory Coast, with Jumia, which already established itself as an eCommerce leader in Nigeria (the #4 site with 100K daily visitors), as well as Morocco, Kenya and Egypt.
“We want all Africans to purchase high quality products for best prices. We launched in Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya and Egypt before and are now in a market leading position in every country. We see the same potential in Ivory Coast and thus provide every customer with a secure, easy-to-use and convenient shopping experience.” – Jeremy Hodara, Co-CEO
Now adding their fifth country, the French-language site marks a transition to a point where eCommerce is available to everyone. Everyone. We’ve already seen how mobile payments has rendered cash unnecessary in developing countries. Now it seems the online commerce may very well outpace traditional commerce, at least on the industrial scale.
I recently had a chance to speak with a former Rocket Internet employee, responsible for rolling out one of their many eCommerce properties in Latin America, who spoke about the mechanical way in which they are trained to identify optimizations in marketing, logistics, operations, etc. and to get things to a point where they are nearly automatic, and then move on to the next country. These days, I find it harder to think of a country where Rocket Internet doesn’t have an active eCommerce property.