Africa Internet Group (AIG), a subsidiary of Rocket Internet, is renaming its companies in the African market to become part of one huge Jumia brand.

This means all startups under AIG are undergoing some form of rebranding or the other. Basically, their names are going to be changed to Jumia-something. Jovago will become Jumia Travel, Lamudi will be Jumia House, HelloFood is morphing into Jumia Food, Carmudi will be Jumia Cars, Vendito will become Jumia Deals, and Everjobs will be known as Jumia Jobs.

So far, there are no reports of a change in staff or management in these companies; they are just undergoing a name change. Everything will continue to run as is. With this move, Jumia will become a much larger network in Africa comprising of services ranging from travel booking to food delivery.

According to reports, this move is to help boost AIG’s marketing strategy. Over the past six months, Rocket Internet’s share price has dropped by more than 25% and they have had problems winning investors’ confidence.

Rocket internet’s founder and CEO, Oliver Samwer said, “Jumia in Africa is billing out its market share in a difficult macro environment and we are very optimistic for this business in a very long life.”

Marek Zmyslowski, founder and ex-CEO of Jovago who left the company on not quite amicable terms, feels that this is something the Group should have seen coming and acted on, or at least paid attention to advice given.

In his words, “This [move] means so many things. Failure of concept of raising together funds for different businesses. Failure of the whole business strategy that was pushed for the last couple years. Failure of launching ventures without real founders that have the power of making decisions.”

He continued by saying, “People who saw problems coming and tried to change something, but were not heard by the top management and had no choice but to leave, have a bitter feeling of being right today.”

It’s safe to assume he’s one of these ‘people’ and this decision hurts him a little. Since it’s for the good of the Group and all the companies involved, we can only hope things work out.

Tola Agunbiade Author

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