Following the suspension of its e-commerce operations in both Cameroon and Tanzania within a few days of each other, the African e-commerce giant, Jumia, has continued what looks like a rapid downsizing of its e-commerce business.
This time around, it’s Jumia Kenya that is getting the chop as reports have emerged that the company has severed ties with approximately 6 percent of its workforce in Kenya by laying off up to 30 employees in its Kenyan office.
Sources who spoke to Gadgets-Africa hinted that the development is tied to a move by Jumia’s backers to cut down on the loss-making company’s running costs and arrest a deluge that has seen Jumia’s losses hit the threshold of a billion dollars since launching in 2012.
In last month’s earnings call, Jumia reported yet more losses despite increased revenues and users. The company also hinted at a fintech-esque restructuring effort following the impressive numbers done by its in-house payment gateway, Jumia Pay, during the period under review.
After the recent earnings call, it was widely speculated that Jumia may have to close shop in some of its African markets to arrest its losses and it didn’t take long before the company suspended operations in two African countries. And now, it appears the downsizing campaign has reached Kenya.
Jumia Kenya has, indeed, confirmed the layoffs in its Kenyan office to Gadgets-Africa, though the company says that they are working with the affected employees to find suitable placements for them.
Before the recent trimming, Jumia had been attempting to build a giant e-commerce platform that spans several African countries. But it appears the company is having a rethink following a botched IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) which has since seen the company lose its unicorn status with share price currently hovering around single digits.
At the moment, Jumia seems committed to cutting down on its running costs and it is likely that the downsizing will affect a few other markets.
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