Payments processor Chipper Cash has reportedly dismissed more than a third of its workforce (more than 100 employees) in a recent trim that follows a familiar pattern in the tech industry.
This is the second time that Chipper, which experienced a reduction in its valuation from $2 billion to $1.25 billion before the bankruptcy of FTX, is letting go of some of its workers.
In December 2022, the company announced a significant layoff where a considerable number of employees were let go. This affected around 12.5% of the company’s workforce or 50 employees.
Erin Fusaro, the Vice President of Engineering at Chipper Cash, shared that many of her close colleagues and friends were among those who were laid off, including engineering leadership, engineers, technical program managers, analysts, and IT staff.
According to people privy to the matter, this recent layoff is a massive one; about a third of the 350 employees have been let go.
All departments at Chipper Cash have been affected. For instance, it is reported that departments such as Business Management are now run by a single employee.
The majority of the teams have also lost more than half their staff.
It is also rumoured that the crypto team has been scrapped.
Stefano Pardi, VP of Revenue at Chipper Cash said on LinkedIn: Friday was a sad day for Chipper Cash, as many talented people were let go. 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, multicultural teams and projects in Fintech. All areas have been impacted, from Recruiting, HR, Marketing, Pricing, Product, Analytics, UX, Research, Legal, and more.
Chipper Cash secured a Series C funding round of $100 million in May 2021, with SVB Capital leading the investment, followed by an additional $150 million extension six months later, making a total of $250 million raised.
The extension round was led by FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange platform now defunct, which contributed $40 million and drove Chipper Cash’s valuation to $2 billion, earning it a place among Africa’s five unicorns.
Despite this success, Chipper Cash, whose celebrity endorsers include Nigerian singer Burna Boy and retired footballer Patrice Evra, went back to the market in 2022 to raise more funds, likely as a cushion to navigate the current macroeconomic environment.
Like many startups, it may have had to settle with a down round. It’s unclear how much funding the more than four-year-old company secured, but documents revealed that it received an additional $35 million in SAFE from FTX at a $1.25 billion valuation.