In the tech world, unicorns are referred to as start-up companies valued at more US$1 billion, and the African continent can now boast of having one of its own in Nigeria.
A few countries around the world including the United States, China, India, The United Kingdom, Sweden, South Korea, Singapore, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Scotland, Israel, Luxembourg, The Czech Republic, Canada, Argentina, Switzerland and Japan have companies with valuations at the billion dollar mark.
Nigeria’s Africa Internet Group (AIG), is recognized as pioneer in elevating the continent and its contributions to various platforms and has largely shaped the culture of Africa’s e-commerce utilization. According to its site, the four year old mother brand has created 71 companies in 8 different verticals in online retail, food service and delivery, online marketplace, real estate, vehicle marketplace, taxi cab services, online travel agency and P2P lending marketplace. Its flagship brand, Jumia, is the largest online retail store in Nigeria which in 2013, became the first African company to win the world retail awards, with the previous winners including ASOS and Las Vegas based Zappos.com.
In one of the biggest fundraising rounds yet seen for any Africa-focused technology company, AIG received a US$85 million in equity investment from telecommunications giant, Orange. Funds will be used to improve operations in their current markets and expand into more countries.
Experts say it takes a median length of six years to become a Unicorn, and AIG has beat this threshold. We look forward to more magic from this company.
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