Africa Internet Group is merging all their operations under the 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.
I think it makes sense for them, however it will not solve a key problem about birthing companies.
The reasons startups work and big companies tank is because of what I call the Founder’s fire. When i discuss with successful people who have founded something before, there is an energy in the air that is simply absent when you discuss with people who may be smart but have not really started anything fresh before.
Entrepreneurship is not about fancy cars or business cards or acquiring MBAs. It is a mindset, it is an altitude, it is a spirit.
A founder is worth more than 1000 staff members combined, that is the truth.
What I really think AIG should be doing is to hunt for promising startups in Africa, invest in them the traditional way and allow their founders to continue running them until they achieve scale. The founder’s vision and instincts can never be compared to money or access or influence.
Talking of Founding fire…. Instagram just announced that they now have 500 million active MONTHLY users. You now see the wisdom in Facebook buying the app and allowing them to continue working as they were? Why didn’t they sack the Founding CEO and hire a smarter-than-he to run the business??
I am sure you know the answer.