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Cover Feature

Africa Internet Group

MAKING LIFE EASIER Africa Internet Group (AIG) is a leading African internet company, operating online and mobile marketplaces and classifieds companies. AIG is an ongoing success story, already establishing itself as the leading internet group on the continent. Aspire Africa recently interviewed Sacha Poignonnec, the group’s co-CEO, to discuss the business’ ongoing success. By: Nicholas Paul Griffin

Sacha Poignonnec co-CEO Africa Internet Group

AIG currently operates in 26 countries and has created 71 companies in 8 different verticals.

Smart Solutions Founded in 2012, AIG currently operates in 26 countries. By providing technology to connect customers to businesses, the group aims to simplify life with easy-to-use applications and smart solutions across the continent’s internet sector. Since its inception, AIG has created 71 companies in 8 different verticals: online retail, food ordering platform, online marketplace, real estate marketplace, vehicle marketplace, taxi hailing, online travel agency and P2P lending marketplace. AIG has strived to create an ecosystem of successful and fast growing companies, including Jumia, Kaymu, Jovago, Hellofood, Lamudi and Everjobs. AIG is currently owned by MTN, Rocket Internet and Millicom. AIG continues to address the dynamic needs of businesses and consumers through the provision of internet-enabled solutions ensuring accessible services. Digitalization and e-commerce is developing rapidly in Africa, and AIG is taking a leading role. According to, Africa accounted for 2.1% of global B2C e-commerce sales, representing a 31% growth in global share since 2011. The African market is therefore far from being saturated. Collaborating with major universities, AIG develops young African talents in an exciting and rapidly growing digital economy. Employees have the chance to work across the continent, accumulating knowledge and expertise to become the next generation of entrepreneurs. 4

Sacha Poignonnec ¡ co-CEO, Africa Internet Group

Our aim is to make life easier for every single person in the countries that we are active in.” Sacha Poignonnec

Cover Feature “Our aim is to make life easier for every single person in the countries that we are active in,” Mr Poignonnec says. “That is why we provide a wide range of services, from online shopping to food delivery.” In its professional dealings, AIG strives to meet as many individual needs as possible, developing businesses that will ultimately facilitate the lives of its customers and enhance the communities they belong to. The group’s ecosystem of companies and technology-enabled services have been carefully cultivated, with a focus on longterm value creation, by addressing the specific challenges of operating e-commerce marketplaces: logistics, internet access, payments and talent.

Jeremy Hodara & Sacha Poignonnec co-CEO’s, Africa Internet Group

This approach enables AIG to observe and implement trends before they are recognised elsewhere, allowing the group to continue to provide African companies with services that are in high demand and ahead of the game.

Addressing Needs AIG has grasped the importance of growing with the evolving needs of each unique market and presenting solutions to address unmet requirements. Mr Poignonnec recognizes the need for the group to tailor its service for each country it operates in. “For example,” he tells us, “on the last Black Friday, the busiest shopping day, which we imported [as a concept] from the US, we drew in more than 2.8 millions unique visitors to” Mobile traffic accounted for 67% of total traffic, amounting to a total of 235k orders, making Black Friday 2015 the largest shopping event in Africa. In addition, through its network of companies, the group employs and trains over 3,000 people. Aspire Africa · July/Aug 2016


We have expanded our online businesses across more than 20 countries in Africa in less than 4 years,” Sacha Poignonnec

Cover Feature

Jumia warehouse “We have countless examples of alumni of our companies setting up their own ventures. The experience that they get with us undoubtedly sets them on their way to running their own successful companies.”

“At AIG, we invest and prioritise sustainable growth over short-term profitability,” Mr Poignonnec says, indicating that as a group, AIG is committed to the long term growth of e-commerce in Africa.

The democratization of the internet in Africa offers unprecedented opportunities for e-commerce businesses.


Many companies currently face limitations in technology investment and skills development, preventing them from meeting current e-commerce standards. Companies are required to have the capacity to process cash-on-delivery transactions and track packages electronically, as well as employing mobile equipment to communicate effectively with vendors and customers. 6

Sacha Poignonnec · co-CEO, Africa Internet Group

“We have expanded our online businesses across more than 20 countries in Africa in less than 4 years,” Mr Poignonnec explains. The company’s mission is to simplify C2C business by providing an easy to use, local and safe classifieds portal in frontier markets. Jumia, the No.1 online shopping platform in Africa, has a presence in 11 countries on the continent and has recorded exponential

Jumia delivery driver growth in Nigeria and Kenya, with 900% growth in orders in the Kenyan market in 2015. Another prime example is Jovago, the No.1 online booking platform in Africa, which has grown to host more than 20,000 African hotels in just two years of trading. Last year, AIG also launched, a brand new classified ads platform for Africa. In addition, the company has created Everjobs, an online job portal to the African market. Everjobs aims to become the leading job portal in fast growing economies by finding the right match for both employers and candidates. Africa’s leading cellular telecommunications group, MTN, announced in 2014 that it would

Jumia sales force invest around EUR 168 million into AIG in the following two to four years, having acquired 33.3% of the joint venture between Rocket Internet and Millicom. The future certainly looks bright for AIG, a company with big plans to keep expanding, and it will continue to look to provide the best technology options for Africans, as well as identifying new markets where demands can be met. “First of all,” Mr Poignonnec says, “we are constantly striving to improve our services for our customers to enable them to have the best online experience. On top of that, our next steps include the establishment of already successful business models in other markets.” ASPIRE Aspire Africa · July/Aug 2016

7 Jumia Corporate Office - West Africa 109 Adeniyi Jones Street, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria Tel: +20 115 505 4207

Africa Internet Group | Company Brochure  

Making Life Easier, featuring Sacha Poignonnec, co-CEO, Africa Internet Group.

Africa Internet Group | Company Brochure  

Making Life Easier, featuring Sacha Poignonnec, co-CEO, Africa Internet Group.