Has Rocket Internet started dismembering Jumia? Sells Jumia House Ghana

Jumia House

Ghana’s meQasa.com said it has acquired Jumia House, a real estate rental and sales website owned by Rocket Internet’s Jumia Ghana.

Neither meQasa.com nor Jumia had offered details on the value of the transaction.

From its records and disclosures, meQasa.com said it has “over 450,000 views from over 80,000 visits from property seekers every month, looking at over 25,000 listings by more than 1200 agents and developers”.

To many discerning people in eCommerce, page views and site visit is a mere ‘vanity’ metric for a website that was created to make sales. meQasa has not disclosed the value of transactions in term of rented apartments and or sales it has closed since it started operations in 2013.

As usual, it seems meQasa.com was approached to buy Jumia House going by the comments of Kelvin Nyame, the company’s Co-Founder who said “The acquisition of Jumia House Ghana has placed meQasa.com in a prime position to better serve Ghana’s growing real estate market. Our combined businesses will have the scale and resources to transform the way Ghanaians buy and sell property. With the acquisition, we will be the go-to destination for property buyers, renters, for real estate agents, and alike.”

Nyame’s buttress on page views becomes more worrying when he said meQasa.com “Will claim host to over 150,000 visits from property seekers every month and will be in the position to send more leads and convert more sales for their customers”. It is not clear from his speech if the company has developed a business model that can see it standing the test of time.

This is interesting as Rocket Internet had in the later part of last year collapsed all its startups under its Africa Internet Group, AIG, into Jumia. The company had turned the sites into sub-domains under Jumia.

The decision to sell Jumia House is very significant in the present and future and Jumia as we are likely to see a further dismembering of the Jumia group.

Jumia is left with Jumia Market, Travel, Deals, Car and Food. It is not clear yet if the company will be looking at shedding similar weights in markets such as Nigeria where over 70% of its revenue are recorded on a year on year basis.

An eCommerce specialist who wished not to be named said the sale of Jumia House Ghana was necessary as the Ghanian market was not lucrative for the model of an online real estate business.

For a company reporting over EUR25 million in losses on African scale in the last nine months, it is becoming obvious that Rocket Internet will go beyond job cuts and creation of sub domains to move closer to profitability.