What happened

Shares of Jumia Technologies (NYSE:JMIA) were sliding again last month after a report by Bloomberg detailing the company's challenges seemed to add to investor skepticism about the African e-commerce company. The stock finished September down 29%, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence

As you can see from the chart below, the stock's slide came toward the end of the month shortly after the report came out. 

JMIA Chart

JMIA data by YCharts.

So what 

The stock was largely quiet for the first three weeks of the month. But a report from Bloomberg on Sept. 20 seemed to prompt a new round of selling for the busted IPO. The article detailed a number of challenges, including faulty payment systems, unreliable phone networks, parking problems, and customers who can't be located or who cancel after ordering.

A Jumia deliveryman on a moped

The job of a Jumia deliveryman is not easy. Image source: Jumia.

The report said that approximately 40% of the company's orders result in either cancellations or returns, illuminating the difficulties in bringing e-commerce to a continent that lacks much of the infrastructure -- including roads, an address system, and internet connectivity -- that's allowed e-commerce to thrive in the Western world. 

Jumia's slide in September follows a short-seller attack from Citron Research, admissions by the company that some of its sellers had committed fraud, and widening losses in its second-quarter earnings report in August.

Now what 

Jumia shares slipped again in the beginning of October on concerns about the stock's lockup period expiring, a sign that investor faith is continuing to wane. At this point, the company badly needs a positive catalyst to change investor sentiment. That could be a better-than-expected earnings report, an activist investor taking a stake, or even a convincing analyst upgrade.

The stock is now down more than 80% from its peak shortly after its April IPO, and it could easily fall further. Though Jumia is tackling a huge opportunity in e-commerce and online payments in Africa, it's clear that the company faces myriad challenges.



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