Jumia crowds out smaller rivals in West African e-commerce

Yaatoo and Afrimarket have both thrown in the towel, reinforcing Jumia’s dominance of this nascent market.

Côte d’Ivoire-based retailer Groupe Prosuma pulled the plug on Yaatoo, its  e-commerce division. Doungnan Coulibaly, who led Yaatoo, told local media that Prosuma’s shareholders were not prepared to provide additional funding for the venture.

Launched in 2016, Yaatoo has struggled to compete with the Lagos-based multinational Jumia, which stated earlier this year that Côte d’Ivoire was one of its four largest markets. Earlier this year, Coulibaly told Jeune Africue that Jumia’s market share in Ivorian e-commerce stood at “more than 50%.” While Jumia has never released sales figures for Côte d’Ivoire, it had sales of €66.1 million in West Africa (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal) during 2018.

News of Yaatoo’s demise came on the same day that Afrimarket, which also served West Africa, filed for bankruptcy in Paris after it failed to secure new funding. It had a turnover of around €30 million last year. Founder Rania Belkahia told Jeune Afrique “Investors are nervous about e-commerce in Africa. There are low margins and operational problems … And then we were in a complex situation with an actor [Jumia] taking the lead after raising several hundred million, which raises the fear of ‘winner takes all’.”

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If you are seeking a much more in-depth examination of the development, operations, and strategy of Prosuma, check out Sagaci Research’s Prosuma Research Report 2019