Chipper Cash, the African cross-border fintech has just dismissed 15 people from various departments in its fourth round of layoffs over the last year. This layoff comes just six months after Chipper Cash dismissed almost a dozen employees that included Alicia Levine (Chief Operating Officer). Sources confirm that the company’s US team is the most affected by these layoffs.
Chipper Cash has said it is “doing very well” despite the layoffs reported over the last few months. Words from a Chipper Cash spokesperson are “We constantly look to ensure we have as much efficiency as possible within our global organization, and only a small number of roles were impacted by the minor restructuring, No roles in Africa were affected—this year we have expanded teams on the continent. Our business is doing very well and will be profitable in a few months.”
News coming in also confirms that Chipper Cash has cut the salaries of staff from the US and UK. Although Chipper Cash did not respond to questions about salary cuts.
For more backstory, Ham Serunjogi from Uganda founded Chipper Cash in 2018 alongside Maijid Moujaled his co-founder. From day one, their mission was to digitize remittance payments into Africa.
Chipper Cash branded itself as a zero-fee payment platform that allows one to make payments and do transfers for free. Chipper Cash also offers products and services like bill payments, purchase of data, and airtime they enable customers to shop online via their virtual debit cards.
Currently, Chipper Cash also allows users in Nigeria and Uganda to purchase fractional stocks from publicly traded companies that have been listed on the American stock exchanges.
It might not be news to some people that since Chipper Cash launched they have raised about $300 million dollars in funding across different funding rounds which valued the company initially at $2.2 billion in 2021. Their most notable investors include Silicon Valley Bank, Ribbit Capital, FTX (the failed crypto exchange), and Bezos Expeditions (The venture fund of Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos).
In 2021, the company’s revenue had grown more than 4 times in the previous year as it recorded $75 million in 2021 and $18 million in 2020 according to Forbes.
In 2022, insiders say that the annual revenue reached $100 million. Chipper Cash claims to have reached over 4 million users in 2021. Now, the company has over 5 million downloads on Apple and Google app stores. This came after serious marketing campaigns, including a partnership with Burna Boy (Grammy award-winning artist). However, insiders suggest that the deal with Burna Boy would have cost as much as $1 million.
With millions of dollars in the bank and assets, Chipper Cash has developed a “grow-at-all-cost” mindset to prove its unicorn valuation in Africa (a very challenging macroeconomic environment). Chipper hired very aggressively in the UK and US as it opened an office in San Francisco. The recruitment was about 250 employees between 2021 and 2022 which doubled their workforce to 450. However, this growth-focused expenditure began to cool down as the USA increased interest rates to put pressure on companies, sparking fears of a possible recession.