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Copia Kenya announces 1,060 job cuts & possible closure after 11 years

Copia has received a total of $83.5 million (Sh11 billion) in funding since its inception.

A Copia outlet in Kenya
  • Copia Kenya Limited, an e-commerce and financial services platform, has received over $83.5 million in funding since its inception
  • The company is facing financial challenges and is considering job cuts, potentially affecting around 1,060 employees
  • The CEO, Tim Steel, highlighted the severity of the situation and the need for organizational restructuring

Employees at Copia Kenya Limited, a start up in the retail sector, are facing an uncertain future as the company announced potential job cuts due to ongoing financial challenges.

The distressing news was delivered through a formal notice issued to the employees on May 16, 2024, following a critical meeting held by the company's leadership.

Copia Kenya an e-commerce and financial services platform that provides affordable and convenient access to a variety of quality products for middle and low-income consumers across the country, has been under financial strain, struggling to navigate a tough economic climate.

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The company's CEO, Tim Steel, outlined the severity of the situation.

According to the notice, the company is contemplating a far-reaching organisational restructuring which could lead to the elimination of approximately 1,060 roles.

The restructuring aims to streamline operations and ensure the company's sustainability, but at a high cost to workforce stability.

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"It is very likely that there will be a reduction in our workforce and it is possible that the payment of salaries could be at risk," the notice explained.

Copia Kenya is taking legal steps to ensure compliance with the Employment Act by providing a one-month notice to potentially impacted employees, along with a mandatory consultancy period.

This period is intended to discuss possible redundancy and explore alternative solutions.

The company has also promised to uphold its statutory obligations, including fair consultation and selection processes.

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The potential job losses at Copia Kenya raise concerns about the broader impact on the local economy and community.

The retail sector plays a crucial role in Kenya's economic landscape, and significant layoffs could have ripple effects, including increased unemployment rates and economic downturn in related sectors.

Copia, which was established in 2013 has been reported to be among the most funded start-ups in Kenya.

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The company has received a total of over $83.5 million (Sh11 billion) in funding since its inception.

  1. Undisclosed seed round in January 2013 from Savannah Fund, Opes Impact fund and Data Collective.
  2. $4 million Seed II round in January 2015 from DOB Equity.
  3. $16 million Private Equity round from LGT Group in September 2018.
  4. $2 million Series A from Goodwell Investments in January 2019.
  5. $26 million Series B from LGT Lightstone, Perivoli Innovations, Endeavor Catalyst and Goodwell Investments.
  6. $5 million Series C in September 2020 funded by the United States International Development Finance Corporation.
  7. $50 million Series C equity round led by Goodwell Investments in January 2022.
  8. $20 million Series C extension round in 2023 from investors including Enza Capital, Goodwell Investments, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, DEG, Elea, Perivoli Foundation and Sorenson Foundation

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