Over 1,000 Workers To Lose Jobs As Copia Struggles For Funds

Copia
[Photo/Courtesy]

At least 1,060 workers could lose jobs as Copia, an e-commerce platform, struggles to remain afloat over financial strains.

Already, Copia Global, an e-commerce platform and the parent company of Copia Kenya has entered administration.

An organizational restructuring is already in the offing to ensure the sustainability of its operation and or a possible shutting down of its operations.

The Company has hired Makenzi Muthusi and Julius Ngonga of KPMG to lead an administration process whose main objective is to maintain the company as a going concern.

Copia Global, the parent company of Copia Kenya, was unable to attract capital on terms that were amenable to all existing stakeholders, funders and investors. Copia Global is now winding down, leaving the Copia Kenya business in a new position to raise capital directly. 

On May 16, 2024, the company’s CEO Tim Steel said the future of the company was uncertain and urged workers to undertake a one-month consultancy period.

“It is very likely that there will be a reduction of our workforce and it is possible that the payment of salaries could be at risk. The company is required – in compliance with the law — to give all staff one month notice of potential redundancies and to undertake a one-month consultancy period with all potentially impacted staff,” Steel said in the letter.

In Kenya, Copia has a network of over 50,000 local agents, the firm has served over 2 million consumers and fulfilled over 13 million orders.

Under the mandate of the Administrator, the Copia Kenya management team will implement a plan with a lower burn rate, an accelerated path to profitability and a focus on the increasingly digital consumer.

While preserving jobs is a key goal through administration, unfortunately a retrenchment of staff will likely be necessary in the near future to right size and right shape Copia to the new digital opportunity and create a position for growth.

While Copia Kenya has been a tech company from day one, it can now transition all aspects of its operations to digital; from the customer interface to agent communications to fulfillment.

In the last two years, mobile internet has become more affordable, as illustrated by a recent company survey showing fully 65% of customers now have smartphones and can access the Copia consumer app. Mobile connectivity and access to life-changing apps is transformative for this underserved community, the last digital frontier.

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