Money-strapped Copia suspends service in Central and Japanese Kenya

Money-strapped Copia suspends service in Central and Japanese Kenya

Copia Global, a Kenyan B2C e-commerce platform that enables retailers to buy and restock important items utilizing a cellular app or USSD, has stopped taking orders from Central and Japanese Kenya one week after cashflow challenges pressured it to enter administration.

The brand new directors have in the reduction of on Copia’s markets to protect money because it seeks new buyers, TechCabal has realized. The six affected markets are Naivasha, Machakos, Meru, Embu, Kericho, and Eldoret. 

The workers working within the depots that serve the affected markets have been despatched on depart. On Might 16, the corporate mentioned it might lay off over 1,000 staff. The corporate has 900 everlasting workers and 200 casuals on its payroll. 

Anne Mwihaki, Copia’s director of human assets, instructed workers by way of electronic mail that the corporate would inform “all exterior stakeholders, together with brokers, prospects and transporters.” 

In a separate electronic mail, Makenzi Muthusi, one of many directors appointed by Copia, assured workers that the agency had funds to cowl Might salaries however delayed the disbursement as a result of they “had been unable to finish the executive duties regarding the financial institution accounts.” 

Copia Kenya appointed Muthusi and Julius Ngonga of KPMG, an audit and advisory agency, to assist flip round operations and lift recent capital for the Kenyan unit.

“As a follow-up to our earlier communication on the administration course of, as a reminder, the aims of the administration are to take care of the corporate as a going concern, and the directors proceed to work with administration to lift capital from new buyers for the Kenya enterprise,” Mwihaki mentioned. 

Copia, as soon as a darling of enterprise capitalists–together with US’s DFC and GoodWell Investments–acquired $123 million in funding however did not activate revenue. The corporate sought to show casual rural kiosks right into a multi-billion digital retail platform linking prospects on to fast-moving shopper items (FMCG) producers to decrease product prices. 

At its peak, Copia had 1,800 workers and over 50,000 brokers unfold throughout Kenya’s Western, Nyanza, Central, and Japanese areas. In 2022, the agency opened a hub in Uganda however closed after a 12 months, stopping its pan-African growth ambitions.  

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