Home » Ugandan tycoon Ham Serunjogi’s Chipper Cash lays off nearly 12.5 percent of staff

Ugandan tycoon Ham Serunjogi’s Chipper Cash lays off nearly 12.5 percent of staff

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Ham Serunjogi

Chipper Cash, a pan-African cross-border payment company led by Ugandan tech tycoon Ham Serunjogi, has laid off approximately 12.5 percent of its workforce as part of a restructuring effort to improve the quality of its earnings and place profit on the back of growth.

According to a report published by TechCrunch, more than 50 employees were affected across multiple departments in the cross-border payment company, with the engineering team being the most affected, with around 60 percent of the team laid off.

Its recent move comes nearly two weeks after it announced plans to acquire Zoona Transactions International (Zoona), a Zambian fintech firm, as part of its plans to expand its offerings by acquiring all the services under the Tilt Africa brand, which has processed over $3 billion in transactions since its inception in 2008.

Chipper Cash joins other African startups such as Wave, SWVL, 54gene, Sendy, and Twiga, a Nairobi-based agri-tech startup that recently fired some of its employees and announced a reduction in allowances for those who will continue to work for the company.

Experts revealed that the layoffs are occurring on the backdrop of macroeconomic volatility, as many tech companies lay off employees as part of a strategy to cut costs and prune their valuations after ambitious hiring during the pandemic, draggy revenue growth, and soaring operating costs, even as spending on tech infrastructure seems to be holding steady.

Chipper Cash, a cross-border payment platform founded in 2018 by Serunjogi and his Ghanaian business partner Maijid Moujaled, offers fee-free peer-to-peer payments in seven African countries: Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, and Kenya.

It has raised $300 million in venture capital funding at a $2.2-billion valuation since its inception nearly five years ago. It also has an operational footprint in the UK, allowing money transfers from the country to African markets.

Chipper Cash raised $150 million in a Series-C extension round in November 2021, led by U.S. entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX, which imploded in mid-November after Coindesk reported irregularities on the company’s balance sheets.

On Nov. 11, FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware, citing an apparent misuse of funds that some have called fraud.

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