What happened

Shares of Jumia Technologies (JMIA 9.43%) surged 20.8% on Tuesday after the African e-commerce marketplace announced some key metrics from its Black Friday selling period.  

So what

Between Nov. 5 and Nov. 30, Jumia's gross merchandise volume (GMV) -- essentially, the total value of transactions placed on its platform -- climbed 30% year over year to $150 million.

The gains were driven by a 27% rise in unique visitors to Jumia's sites, to nearly 40 million, and a 39% increase in orders to 4.3 million.

A digital shopping cart located over Africa is being supplied with goods from around the world.

Image source: Getty Images.

The number of active sellers on Jumia's marketplace grew to 46,000, up from 41,500 in the year-ago period. Jumia's food-delivery segment enjoyed particularly strong growth, with its top 20 restaurant partners seeing an average GMV increase of 167%.

Now what 

Jumia has been investing aggressively in its fulfillment network to support its expansion. That's allowing it to deliver packages more quickly to its customers. Jumia's logistics operations processed 5.3 million packages during its Black Friday campaign, with an average delivery time of 1.5 business days.

However, those investments are coming at a cost. Jumia generated an operating loss of $64 million in the third quarter, compared to a loss of $33.3 million in the prior-year quarter. Higher fulfillment, sales, advertising, and technology expenses all contributed to the decline in profitability. 

Still, co-CEOs Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec expect this spending to create value for Jumia's customers and shareholders over time.

"We believe that these investments are long-term in nature and that accelerating growth will ultimately contribute to profitability," said Hodara and Poignonnec in Jumia's third-quarter earnings release.