Copia Global lays off its remaining staff

·
June 7, 2024
·
5 min read
Copia Global

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Bonjour,

Victoria from Techpoint,

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • Copia Global lays off its remaining staff 
  • Telecom Egypt and SubCom set up a subsea system
  • Elevate’s $5 million pre-Series A

Copia Global lays off its remaining staff

Copia Global

Copia Global, a Kenyan B2B eCommerce startup that slashed over 1,000 of its headcount two weeks ago, is giving the boot to their remaining 1,500 employees. The termination letters are supposed to hit everyone's desks today, Friday, June 7, 2024.

The whole fiasco began last month when Tim Steel, the CEO of Copia, forewarned of impending uncertainty and alluded to potential layoffs and pay concerns. He even mentioned that if job cuts didn't do the trick, they might have to shut down. 

Launched in 2012 and having secured a hefty $123 million across eight rounds of funding, they still had to downsize their workforce by about 1,000 employees recently, blaming it on struggles with raising more funds. They got $20 million in a Series C extension round in December 2023, but it wasn't enough to turn things around.

Things got even messier when Copia had to call in the administrators from KPMG on May 24, 2024. Makenzi Muthusi, one of the administrators, explained they had the money for May salaries, but bank account issues caused delays. 

To add insult to injury, Copia had to hit pause on orders in six Kenyan markets on May 31, 2024. They even put employees in those areas on leave. 

However, this is not the first time they've had to scale back. Remember when they launched in Uganda back in 2021? Well, by April 2023, they had to pull out and let go of hundreds of staff because of tough economic times.

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Despite some big moves like partnering with Visa and pushing their mobile app in 2023, Copia just couldn't seem to get those sales numbers up. Now, with no staff and a shaky future ahead, it's hard to say what's next for them.


Telecom Egypt and SubCom set up a subsea system

Telecom Egypt and SubCom subsea cable systems
Telecom Egypt and SubCom complete IEX subsea systems at two cable landing stations in Egypt

Telecom Egypt, a telecom operator in Egypt, and SubCom, the subsea data system supplier, have finished setting up the India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) landings in Egypt. 

This new system links Mumbai straight to Europe, Milan, which means more diverse and high-capacity services for everyone involved. It's connecting two seas and two continents through two different routes across Egypt. 

In February 2024, there was a bit of a hiccup when Seacom, another telecom and subsea cable provider, had an outage in the Red Sea region. That caused some trouble with the cable connecting Mombasa, Kenya, to Zafarana, Egypt. But with Telecom Egypt and SubCom's new system, things are looking up.

This project is a big deal for Telecom Egypt, which has been handling telecom services in the country for over half a century. They're taking charge of making sure everything runs smoothly on the ground, from permits to logistics.

And let's not forget the technology behind it all. SubCom's engineering the whole thing, including their space-division multiplexing (SDM) and Wavelength Selective Switch (WSS) ROADM technologies. 

This isn't their first rodeo either - they've done this kind of thing before, making sure Egypt stays connected to the world.


Elevate’s $5 million pre-Series A

Elevate team
Image credits: TechCrunch

Elevate, a fintech startup, has scored $5 million in a pre-Series A funding round. 

With this fresh cash injection, Elevate is gearing up to expand into the Middle East and Africa. They've already got a decent user base of over 150,000 folks from Asia and North Africa since they launched earlier this year.

Elevate, founded in 2021 by Faris Keenan, Khalid Keenan, and Youcef Oudjidane, aims to help remote workers and freelancers in emerging markets manage their finances more effectively.

Their platform includes features, such as making it simple for users to receive payments from U.S. and international employers and some freelancing platforms such as Upwork and Paypal. They also offer debit cards for online purchases and competitive foreign exchange rates for sending money home.

One neat thing about Elevate is that they charge a flat fee of $10 for transferring funds back to local USD accounts, which is pretty sweet for folks in countries like Egypt. 

And to top it off, all the funds deposited with them are held with Bangor Savings Bank, an old-school institution in Maine, USA, which means they're FDIC-insured up to $250,000. 

What’s more, the fintech plans to expand into more markets and introduce new financial products down the line.


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Have a fun weekend!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

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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