Travelstart to power operations of Jumia Travel in Africa
Weeks after it closed shops in Cameroon and Tanzania, Jumia, the largest e-commerce operator in Africa, has handed over the operations of its travel section to Travelstart.
In the new arrangement, Jumia will still promote the travel category on its platforms but Travelstart will be responsible for the operational side of the business, “revenue management, customer service, corporate sales and corporate sales.”
“This partnership will ensure we remain hyper-focused on our growth and path to by profitability as we reinvest our resources in our key markets, services and technology to create the best customer experience in Africa and help Jumia thrive,” Jumia said in a statement on Monday.
The company said that it “cease to operate our Hotels and Flights websites and apps.”
“We have a strong belief in the potential of the online travel industry and travel portals in Africa and have built a strong platform across our markets to address this opportunity,” said Joe Falter, EVP Jumia On-Demand Services.
“In Travelstart, we have found the perfect partner to build on the success Jumia Travel has achieved so far. While we will continue to promote the travel category, Travelstart will be responsible for the operational side of the business. The travel ecosystem in Africa will be further energised by this partnership,”
Jumia Travel operates in several African countries where it counts Kenya and Nigeria as its largest markets.
“This partnership will ensure we remain hyper-focused on our growth and path to profitability as we reinvest our resources in our key markets, services and technology to create the best customer experience in Africa and allow Jumia to thrive,” added Falter.
Travelstart, which operates in nine African countries, will use the partnership to tap new customers in markets where digital is emerging.
Also, the Rwandan unit of Jumia Technologies said it is suspending its operations in the country after six years of delivering food and drinks.
“We regret to inform you that Jumia will suspend our on-demand delivery operations in Rwanda on January 9th 2020,” Jumia said in a message it Rwandan customers on Monday.
This is the third country in Africa where the continent’s largest e-commerce platform is shutting operation in a space of one month.
Two weeks ago the firm closed its business in Tanzania, just a week after shutting down operations in Cameroon.
Founded as Jovago in 2013, the hotels and flights marketplace became Jumia Travel after it rebranded in 2016.
The rebranding move according to a statement at that time was to connect its companies into Jumia’s ecosystem with a new vision, “Expand your horizons”. The new Jumia ecosystem will give access to products and services from its leading platforms.
Jumia’s 3rd quarter report shows that it is nowhere near profitability despite making a revenue of $44.2 million. Regardless, the losses keep rising. For the Q3, the loss stood at $55 million, which is higher than the $45 million it recorded in the same quarter in 2018.
Jumia mall and Jumia Food will continue to operate in Nigeria for now.
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