African cross-border payments platform Chipper Cash conducted a second round of layoffs last Friday just 10 weeks after it cut approximately 12.5% of its workforce (affecting its engineering team the most).
The company’s VP of revenue shared the news on LinkedIn, saying “all areas” across Chipper Cash’s markets were impacted this time. “Friday was a sad day for Chipper Cash, as many talented people were let go,” his post read. “For my network: there is an incredibly talented pool of individuals across the U.S., U.K., 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.”
According to several local news outlets, Chipper Cash relieved almost one-third of its workforce, about 100 employees. Chipper Cash didn’t confirm the exact number of roles affected when TechCrunch reached out but said the reports are relatively accurate. Thus, in addition to the first round of layoffs, the five-year-old payments and crypto startup has let go of over 150 employees in the last three months to cut costs amid a torrid period for private and public tech companies globally.
“The last two years were a period of rapid growth and scaling for us as a business and, to reflect this, our global headcount grew by around 250 people,” said CEO Ham Serunjogi in a statement to TechCrunch. “However, 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.”
Also, Chipper Cash denied reports that it shut down its crypto department, which houses crypto products, one of its three main offerings, including 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,” Serunjogi added.
Serunjogi founded Chipper Cash in 2018 with Maijid Moujaled to provide Africans with a no-fee peer-to-peer cross-border payment service. The company says it has more than 5 million customers across Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya — and more recently, the U.S. and U.K., where the FTX-backed startup expanded last year to facilitate peer-to-peer money movement from both countries to select regions in Africa.
Last November, the African cross-border payment app announced that it would acquire Zambian fintech company Zoona to expand into Southern Africa. And the following month, in the wake of FTX’s bankruptcy, we reported that the African fintech, which has raised over $300 million from investors including the defunct crypto exchange, SVB Capital and Ribbit Capital, saw its valuation slashed from $2 billion to $1.25 billion, according to documents showing Alameda’s venture capital portfolio.
Chipper Cash adds to a list of Africa-focused companies and crypto companies that have laid off employees in recent months, including Jumia (900 employees), Yoco (15% of its workforce, according to sources), and Luno (35% of its workforce).