Jumia Group, one of the leading e-commerce platforms in Africa, has announced the launch of a fund to support its staff and a 25% pay cut for its co-CEOs during COVID-19 crisis.
The two announcements are additional actions Jumia is taking to support the fight against coronavirus pandemic. Previously, Jumia had donated half a million face masks to health workers in African countries, adopted contactless delivery and cashless payment option, and increased hygiene and safety standards in its daily operations.
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According to Jumia, the newly launched fund is made possible through voluntary, anonymous donations from its employees. And it will support frontline staff, who are working across Jumia's delivery hubs and warehouses during COVID-19 crisis.
Massimiliano Spalazzi, the CEO of Jumia Nigeria, told benjamindada.com that the frontline staff are critical to Jumia operation. "I call them Jumia Heroes," he said. "They are the people enabling us to continue to serve our customers by completing all the orders we receive."
Similarly, Jumia co-CEOs and founders, Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec, are reducing their salary by 25% during the pandemic to support the company.
The last few weeks have been unprecedented, with the COVID-19 crisis affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. We have taken major actions for our team, consumers, partners and communities.
These are also times of great solidarity at Jumia. We will come out of this strong both as a team and as a company.
It is pertinent to note that Rocket Internet—the German company that started Jumia in 2012—has sold its remaining stake in the company, thereby making MTN the largest shareholder in the e-commerce company.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Rocket Internet, which had held an 11% stake in Jumia Group as of November 8, 2019 sold its holding between then and the onset of the coronavirus crisis.
Bettin Curtze, Head of Finance and Investments at Rocket Internet, said the proceeds from the holdings sale were included in the $2.3 billion net cash the company reported as of March 31, 2020.
The shares of Jumia, which went public on April 12, 2019, has been on a downward slope. Falling from as high as $46 per share as of May 2, 2019 to $2.9 per share as of April 3, 2020.
Many things have contributed to the downward slope of Jumia's share price, including internal fraud, but the scathing report published by Andrew Left, a short-seller and publisher of Citron Research, dent the performance of the 'Amazon of Africa' on the New York Stock Exchange.