Warriors’ Andre Iguodala Joins Board of African Tech ‘Unicorn’ Jumia

Andre Iguodala’s technology investment game remains strong. The Golden State Warriors wing recently expanded his business portfolio by joining the board of directors of Jumia, a Nigerian-based e-commerce company that became Africa’s first “unicorn” startup when it achieved a $1 billion market valuation in February 2016.

“I feel really strongly about it, especially because I have roots there,” Andre, whose father is Nigerian, told TechCrunch’s Megan Rose Dickey. “I’m trying to incorporate the roots of Africa within the company, and continue to expand and get people on the platform. There’s so much room for growth—not just for the company, but for the continent.”

Andre will serve on Jumia’s compensation committee, which oversees the company’s hiring processes. Andre, in particular, will work to ensure that “the African culture is in the company” and that Jumia is focused on “hiring from within.” Though Jumia was launched in Lagos in 2012 and now is involved in 11 startups across 23 African countries, the company itself was founded by two non-African co-CEOs (Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara) from a German tech firm called Rocket Internet.

Andre also plans to be involved in helping Jumia expand its business, with a move into brick-and-mortar stores among his suggestions to date.

For Andre, the role at Jumia marks a return to a hands-on role in a tech startup. He previously served on the board of Twice, an online clothing resale company that eBay bought in 2015.

In addition, Andre played a key role in the creation of the Bloomberg-sponsored Players Technology Summit in 2017. Together with his business partner Rudy Cline-Thomas, Andre has invested in roughly 25 different startups as well as established tech brands like Facebook, Twitter and Tesla.

 

Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.