Copia Global reportedly lays off its remaining staff

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June 6, 2024
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2 min read
Copia Global
  • Copia Global, a Kenyan B2B eCommerce platform that cut more than 1,000 jobs over two weeks ago, has reportedly laid off all its remaining 1,500 employees.
  • On Friday, June 7, 2024, the startup will distribute termination letters to the remaining employees. 

Last month, when Copia announced it would be laying off over 1,000 employees, CEO Tim Steel stated that future uncertainty may force the company to lay off employees and affect salary payments. Consequently, the company might have to close if job losses do not help. 

Launched in 2012 and having secured $123 million across eight funding rounds, the Kenyan eCommerce firm recently downsized its workforce by approximately 1,000 employees, attributing the decision to its challenges in fundraising. Nonetheless, in December 2023, the company disclosed a $20 million Series C extension round.

Thus, on May 24, 2024, Copia revealed it was entering administration, with KPMG's Makenzi Muthusi and Julius Ngonga in charge of the process. 

On May 31, 2024, the Kenyan eCommerce platform temporarily suspended orders in six Kenyan markets: Naivasha, Machakos, Meru, Embu, Kericho, and Eldoret. Employees in these markets were reportedly placed on leave. 

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Copia has previously closed markets and let go of staff members. Following its 2021 launch in Uganda, Copia ceased operations there in April 2023 and let go of up to 700 staff members to concentrate on Kenya because of the "economic downturn and constrained capital markets."

In July 2023, following the layoff of 50 employees in Kenya and over 300 in Uganda, Copia reportedly terminated the employment of 350 more staff in Kenya.

Even with a partnership with Visa and a campaign for its mobile app in November 2023, the company failed to boost sales.

Per Techweez, Muthusi, an administrator at Copia, clarified that, although the company had allocated funds for May salaries, delays arose due to administrative issues with bank accounts.

Under the administrator's direction, the eCommerce platform strives to enact a strategy geared towards trimming costs and fostering profitability. Yet, the absence of a workforce casts a shadow of uncertainty over Copia's prospects for the future.

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She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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