African cross-border financial and crypto services platform, Chipper Cash, has laid off about 100 employees, which is about 1/3 of its workforce, reports indicate.
Some departments have reportedly been reduced to just one person running the entire operation.
Senior employees took to Linkedin to reveal the news and seek support for their former colleagues, including the company’s Vice President of revenue, Stefano Perdi:
“For my network: there is an incredibly talented pool of individuals across the US, UK, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and more. They are all highly experienced in managing very complex, multi-cultural teams and projects in Fintech. All areas have been impacted, from Recruiting, HR, Marketing, Pricing, Product, Analytics, UX, Research, Legal, and more.”
The latest news comes barely 3 months after the company let go of 50 employees in December 2022, with the engineering department losing 60% of staff.
According to CEO, Ham Serunjogi, the company requires a smaller team after the last two years when they experienced rapid growth and headcount rose to 250.
“Given the macroeconomic climate, we are narrowing our current focus to core markets and products – concentrating our efforts where we know we can thrive. With this hyper-focused prioritization, the reality is that we, unfortunately, need a smaller team at Chipper.”
At the same time, Serunjogi denied reports that the company has shut down its crypto department, said to be one of its main offerings alongside FX and airtime.
“Chipper is one of the largest crypto platforms in Africa today, and it remains one of our fastest-growing products. We are excited about the future of crypto in Africa and continue to invest in the product,”
Chipper made headlines when it raised $150 million in a series C extension that valued the company at $2 billion, making it one of only 5 unicorns in Africa at the time. The round was led by bankrupt crypto platform, FTX, with participation from SVB Capital and Ribbit Capital.
FTX financed about $40 million of the round as the two companies explored how FTX users in Africa could use Chipper Cash to move funds on and off the FTX trading platform.
However, a porfolio sheet that emerged amidst FTX’s turmoil in December 2022 revealed that Chipper’s valuation had been cut down to $1.25 billion.
Besides Chipper, other African companies that received investments from FTX include:
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