Alerzo cuts its headcount in another round of layoffs

May 9, 2024
2 min read

The News:

  • Alerzo, a Nigerian B2B eCommerce startup, reportedly laid off at least 70 employees in early February, bringing its total layoffs since 2023 to more than 500.
  • The B2B startup claims the layoff decision was motivated by digitisation and sustainability; however, people familiar with the situation told TechCabal that it was motivated by a desire to cut costs and extend the runway.
  • These layoffs follow two fund-raising events that the startups completed in 2023. Before that, they raised $10.5 million in Series A funding in 2021 and an undisclosed amount in a January 2022 Series B round.

Adewale Opaleye founded Alerzo in 2018 to digitise commerce and payment processes between fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) suppliers and informal retailers, with funding from Nosara Capital and FJ Labs. As of 2023, it served over 100,000 retailers.

In 2020, the startup raised $525,000 in pre-seed funding, followed by $5 million in seed funding and a $10.5 million Series A round in 2021. It also reportedly raised funds in April and September of 2023.

Aleezo began laying off employees in 2022, firing hundreds of its 2000 employees. In March 2023, it laid off 400 staff due to performance and digitisation challenges and stated that it intended to restructure and reduce payroll to increase profits. 

In November 2023, the company laid off 100 employees, citing warehouse automation from its end-to-end warehouse management system, which improved process automation. 

In addition to its investments in warehouse automation and software management tools, the startup partnered with Mastercard in July 2023 to to empower Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by offering digital payment solutions, financial education, and credit access.

The partnership also aimed to make digital payments more accessible to Nigerian FMCG companies through VeedezPay, a digital payment solution created specifically for small and independent companies.

Confirming the February layoffs, Alerzo, per reports, said its workforce in February was around 1500, but it attempted to limit the number of people affected. Besides, the laid-off workers were given severance packages and health benefits for up to three months.

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