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Orange to invest €75-million equity in Africa Internet Group

Orange to invest €75-million equity in Africa Internet Group.

African e-commerce platform Africa Internet Group has announced a partnership with French telecommunications firm Orange with the aim to accelerate the growth and seize development opportunities on the continent.

Orange will make a €75-million equity investment in Africa Internet Group and will become a shareholder alongside MTN, Rocket Internet, Millicom, AXA and Goldman Sachs.

Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, founders and co-CEOs of Jumia and Africa Internet Group expressed joy about their agreement with the telecommunications company.

"We are thrilled by Orange's equity investment and are eager to translate our strategic partnership into unique offers for our customers. Jumia and our other online consumer services give millions of African consumers an opportunity to access and transact with local companies in a new and very convenient way. With Orange's support and expertise, combined with that of our existing long-standing shareholders, we will be able to further improve our service offerings and the customer experience while continuing to invest in our infrastructure,"

Herman Singh, MTN Group Chief Digital Officer has commended the deal. "MTN welcomes Orange as a shareholder. We are delighted that this partnership gives Africa Internet Group greater support in territories where MTN does not operate. The investment also validates the proven business model and underscores MTN's focus on e-commerce as a strategic pillar of our digital business."

As the parent company of Jumia, Africa Internet Group says it will use the partnership to build a stronger presence in countries such as Morocco and Egypt.

Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet said, "The partnership will allow Jumia to further improve its position as the leading ecommerce platform in Africa, and we anticipate significant synergies with Orange in markets which have tremendous potential."

Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange says, "With this strategic investment, Orange now has the capacity to play a leading role in the fast-growing e-commerce market in Africa. This acquisition is combined with the signature of several important partnership agreements that will create value for all parties. In particular, across the twelve countries where we have a common presence, this investment will enable us to significantly develop our ability to market products and services developed by Orange Middle East & Africa over the Internet."

Richard added that the partnership was initiated by the telecommunication company's corporate investment fund Orange Digital Ventures, and that it is fully aligned with their strategic plan called Essentiels2020 which has a particular ambition to reinvent customer service, develop the digital channels and services offered to customers as well as their activities in Africa and the Middle East.

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