Wasoko's valuation falls to $260 million as VC cuts the value of its holding

March 27, 2024
2 min read
  • Wasoko, a Kenyan eCommerce startup, saw its valuation drop to $260 million the same month it announced its preliminary merger talks with MaxAB, an Egyptian B2B eCommerce startup, last year. 
  • VNV Global, a Swedish investment firm that supports startups in mobility, health, and marketplaces, has reduced the value of its stake in the startup by 48%. The startup was valued at $501 million in 2022. 
  • According to the Swedish firm's annual report (pdf), it estimated Wasoko's fair value as of December 2023 to be around $260 million.  This valuation was based on VNV's 4.2% stake in the startup, which the firm values at $10.9 million.

VNV Global bases its fair value estimate on a valuation model that relies on trading multiples of public peers rather than historical funding rounds.

Previously, VNV had once reduced the value of its holding in Wasoko. In Q4 2022, it valued Wasoko at $501 million, shortly after the startup secured a $125 million Series B investment co-led by Tiger Global and Avenir at a $625 million valuation.

Meanwhile, Wasoko revealed to TechCrunch that it only received $ 113 million out of the total funding raised in that round. VNV Global also contributed $20 million to the funding round. 

On the new development, Wasoko shared that “VNV has not reduced its shareholding in Wasoko whatsoever and continues to remain active and supportive of the company, including through our landmark merger with MaxAB.” 

The startup added that it is not involved in “VNV’s internal reporting but sees VNV’s continued holdings of Wasoko as a clear signal of expected long-term value growth.”

After Wasoko announced it was in preliminary merger talks with MaxAB, the startup has been in the news for several events.  

In January 2024, the company and MaxAB announced plans to reduce their workforce of approximately 4,000 employees by 10%. Also, a month later, a Kenyan court stopped the startup from laying off some of its employees. In March 2024, Wasoko cut its operations in Tanzania and hit the pause button on operations in Uganda and Zambia.

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