When you’re bleeding profusely, the first thing to do is to stop the bleeding — not mop up the floor.

And after years of hemorrhaging money to the tune of $2 billion in accumulated losses, Jumia (NYSE: JMIA), the publicly traded pan-African e-commerce player, is finally stopping the bleeding.

In November 2022, the company’s board fired its co-CEOs/co-founders and replaced them with a new chief executive.

And over the past year, Jumia’s new boss has taken a number of bold steps to improve efficiency, preserve cash, and get the company on a path to profitability.

That CEO — Francis Dufay — led Afridigest’s list of the top five boldest moves in African tech last year.

He slashed Jumia’s marketing spend, trimmed customer incentives, discontinued Jumia Prime, scaled down Jumia’s logistics-as-a-service offerings, laid off ~900 employees (20% of staff), and exited the food delivery vertical by shutting down Jumia Food.

And it’s paying off.

Last week, Jumia reported its first full year of results under Dufay’s watch.

The company’s cash burn has been reduced to the point that liquidity is no longer an urgent, near-term concern. And for the first time in the company’s history, Jumia experienced less than double digit year-over-year growth in accumulated losses for a full financial year.

The company certainly still has a long way to go and many questions still remain, but there’s a medic in the house — and instead of mopping up the floor like his predecessors, he’s focused on the basic fundamentals of stopping the bleeding and stabilizing the patient.

By Emeka Ajene

Based in Lagos, Nigeria, Emeka is the Founder & Publisher of Afridigest and leads Africreate, a strategic advisory firm that helps global senior executives, corporates, and investors take advantage of opportunities in African markets. He also connects global capital to promising Africa Tech investment opportunities via investment firm Africapital. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.