Exclusive: Copia’s Latest Round of Layoffs Takes out Hundreds

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COPIA

After laying off 50 employees in Kenya, and doing the same with over 300 in Uganda, Copia is reportedly laying off 350 of its staff in Kenya. Those affected are to get their letters by the end of the week.

The Kenyan-based e-commerce platform targets middle-to-low-income African consumers providing access to a smooth shopping experience in the underserved market. The company had sought to expand to the African retail market and first expanded to Uganda after successfully raising funding.

Copia recently closed its operations in Uganda citing market environment and prioritizing profits as contributing factors. The e-commerce platform launched its operations in the country back in 2021 as part of its expansion plans to the rest of Africa. The shutting down of its operations in Uganda resulted in over 300 employees losing their jobs.

A statement from Copia team reads as follows:

“Given that the economic downturn and the constrained capital markets are likely to continue for some time, Copia is optimising a number of key processes in its operations in Kenya to provide a better service to its customers and to drive sustained operating profitability.
These changes required that it undergoes a limited restructure of its operations and this restructuring process will likely impact less than 25% of the permanent workforce.

This limited restructuring process is intended to ensure that during these economically challenging times, we will continue to focus our resources on the critical levers of business success and remain a lean and sustainable business for the long-term. 
This decision is consistent with many of the best companies in Africa and across the world which are responding to the market environment and prioritizing profit. 
We are committed to working hard to achieve our goals and deliver sustainable profitability faster. 
 

The closure of Uganda was to focus on the Kenya operation “to focus on prioritizing profitability”, but it seems even the Kenya operation isn’t achieving that.

With recent rounds of layoffs, Copia joins a list of other technology companies that have downsized due to the uncertain economic landscape among other unfavorable business environments in the country.

A simple search on social media reveals a bleak situation of suppliers complaining over unpaid dues and others of customers having issues ranging from undelivered products to wrong orders being made.