Yesterday, CrunchBase email reported that African “unicorn” Africa Internet Group (AIG) had closed a new funding round worth $326M. AIG is a Rocket Internet-backed company with a portfolio of ecommerce, food delivery, classifieds and travel sites serving key markets in Africa. Expanding Jumia, their Nigerian ecommerce site, is reportedly the goal for most of the funding.
African ecommerce companies have had to build logistics, payment and customer service infrastructure from the ground up. With the much of the country still developing, they have to deal with dangerous roads, limited credit card usage and high return rates (not to mention fraud). But they’ve kept working at it and it looks like investors are embracing the continent’s potential.
Africa’s internet penetration rate is currently around 28% with most connectivity growth coming through mobile. This means there is still a lot of untapped markets for internet services. AIG and other players will have to wait for infrastructure or build it themselves, but building a strong position now should payoff for decades.
TechCrunch has more on the deal.
Internet usage map from Geonet