You have no doubt heard that Jumia’s Tunde Kehinde is planning to exit the ecommerce company that he co-founded with Raphael Afaedor under the Rocket Internet banner. So far we have been unable to reach Tunde to confirm or deny the speculation. However, sources familiar with developments have informed us that both CEOs are indeed on their way out of Jumia. If not already, by early 2014.
Both entrepreneurs are leaving of their own volition, our sources say. Each of them will be starting new ventures of their own. Tunde in particular is said to be doing something around logistics infrastructure. It is not clear if the exits are deliberately synchronized, but most interestingly, the said new ventures are likely to receive seed investment from EchoVC.
We have reached out to EchoVC MD, Eghosa Omoigui, for comment.
Installed as founding co-CEOs by the German Samwer-led Rocket mothership, Tunde and Raphael helped get Jumia off the ground in May 2012, under the twin labels of Kasuwa and Sabunta, which were later merged to become the single ecommerce juggernaut that it currently is. On their watch, the startup has raised up to 50 million dollars in funding from globally recognised blue chip investors, including Summit Partners, JP Morgan, Kinnevik, and more, built out considerable logistics and warehousing infrastructure and employs close to 1,000 staff.
Whispers of Tunde Kehinde’s exodus from Nigeria’s fastest growing startup have been flitting around for a while now. If our sources bear out, Rocket’s Africa Internet Holdings management will no doubt have had ample warning and must be realigning accordingly. Considering the speculation about both executive’s future endeavours, Jumia’s loss is expected to be the local ecosystem’s gain.
Both co-CEOs are Harvard MBAs and startup veterans. Before Jumia,Tunde Kehinde worked with Diageo and co-founded Bandeka, a dating site for African professionals. Raphael Afaedor has worked at Monster technologies, Goldman Sachs and Notore. In 2011, he co-founded QluQlu.com, a Groupon-type daily deals website.
We have reached out to all parties concerned and will continue to update the story as new facts arrive.