The ongoing bear market has been unforgiving; name any growth stock, and it's likely lost most of its market value over the past six months. Investors are scared and throwing out the kitchen sink, selling stocks for no reason other than to avoid the pain of further drawdowns.

E-commerce company Jumia Technologies (JMIA -2.96%) has been swept up in the hysteria, falling from nearly $34 to just $6. But investors should consider taking a closer look.

Sure, there are risks -- but the company arguably has tremendous long-term upside ahead. Jumia could emerge from this bear market making millionaires out of investors. Here's why.

Person using their smartphone in an office.

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A massive opportunity in Africa

Jumia is an e-commerce company bringing digital solutions to consumers in Africa. It offers a marketplace where consumers can buy goods, logistics to ship products, and fintech services. Consumers can pay their bills, order food, and buy things, all through Jumia.

Africa is arguably the least modernized economic region globally, where just 43% of individuals use the internet, compared to an average of 66% worldwide and higher in developed countries. Africa has a population of 1.4 billion, so this is a sizable long-term opportunity; a company like Jumia succeeding here could mean decades of growth as the economy develops.

Don't put the cart before the horse

By my estimate, Jumia's annual revenue could eventually reach $10 billion. Admittedly, this is an ambitious figure. It will likely take many years, so investors should approach Jumia with at least a five-year time horizon; the company did $178 million in revenue in 2021, so there's a long way to go.

You can see how revenue has fluctuated in the chart below; Jumia is trying to build its business in an enormous market. The company's small size means limited amounts of money to fund its expansion. This underlines how important patience is to an investor in Jumia.

JMIA Revenue (TTM) Chart

JMIA Revenue (TTM) data by YCharts

The company is also unprofitable, generating a $240 million operating loss in 2021. There are $513 million in cash and financial assets on its balance sheet, so investors could see the company issuing new shares to raise money at some point. This isn't ideal with the stock trading at such a low price, but it's something investors should prepare to see. The company last issued shares in March of 2021.

Encouraging developments

Jumia will need to execute at a high level to grow the business in such an undeveloped target market, and recent moves give investors a lot to like. The company has partnered with UPS and Chinese logistics company 4PX to provide logistics services, a move that will upgrade Jumia's delivery capabilities. The partnerships could also cut down on how much Jumia needs to invest in logistics in the near term.

The company's fintech segment is also showing strong momentum; JumiaPay transactions grew 25% year-over-year in last year's fourth quarter, its most substantial uptick in the past seven quarters. One out of every three transactions in its e-commerce marketplace used JumiaPay.

With a market cap of just $600 million, Jumia remains a highly speculative investment, and the type of millionaire-making returns investors are hoping for will likely take years of steady execution from management and patience from shareholders. The momentum of the JumiaPay and UPS partnership shows that growth could be bubbling under the surface, despite a beaten-down stock price.

Investors should manage their risk and continue to monitor how management performs moving forward. Still, Jumia has an enticing upside that makes it worth considering for bold investors.