Global Tech downturn on the rise as Sendy sends 10% of its workforce home

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Sendy, a Kenyan logistics company, laid off 10% of its workforce last month, according to a statement the company shared with TechCabal. The statement revealed that 10% of the company’s 300 staff members were relieved of their duties.

The company’s co-founder and CEO Mesh Alloys said in the statement that this move is in response to the “current realities impacting tech companies globally”, which necessitated a restructuring of its operations to drive efficiency and manage costs in June. “As a result, in July, the company downsized its workforce which affected 10% of our headcount,” he explained.

The news first got out after a former Sendy employee, Frank Kisiara, announced on LinkedIn that he was leaving the company after 3 years. “July 2022 is officially my last month as a Sendy employee,” Kisiara, who worked as the Lead Engineer in Sendy’s Transport and Partner team wrote. “Sadly, at 6’0″ (my debatable height) and 100 kilos (my actual weight), I couldn’t hide from the #layoffs sweeping through the #tech world.”

The Nairobi-based startup, founded in 2015 by Mesh Alloys, Evanson Biwott, Don Okoth and Malaika Judd, connects clients to drivers and vehicles for goods delivery.

Sendy secured a $20 million Series B round of funding in January 2020 from investors that included Toyota’s investment arm, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, in order to compete in the continent’s emerging logistics market and expand to West Africa. Sendy has so far raised $26.5 million from 13 investors, according to Crunchbase.

The company stated last year that it aims to raise $100 million in 2022 to finance its expansion strategy into nations in western and southern Africa, including and Nigeria.

The company’s spokesperson indicated that alongside the layoffs, the company will be pausing its expansion into Egypt and South Africa; a claim Sendy didn’t confirm or refute. The company currently works in Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana and South Africa the corporate spokeswoman said.

“Our staff have always been our biggest asset as a company. We have always valued their diverse talents and, more critically, their welfare. Decisions impacting them are not taken lightly,” the remainder of the company’s statement reads. “We will continue to focus on creating solutions for businesses across the continent in line with our mission of empowering people and businesses by making it easier to trade.”

Sendy is the most recent African firm to experience a worldwide tech downturn brought on by the financial crisis, which is characterized by declining valuations and shrinking VC financing. MENA-based healthtech startup Vazeeta, the Egypt-born mobility business Swvl, and francophone unicorn Wave are some other African startups that have reduced employees in recent months to weather the downturn.

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