Nigeria’s Lazerpay lays off staff after salary cuts and investor’s withdrawal

Godfrey Elimian
Founder claims the startups’ customers funds are “safe”, while the company “continues to process payments as normal”
Lazerpay
Lazerpay layoffs staffs, admits salary cuts

Lazerpay, a Nigerian crypto payment gateway startup, has reportedly laid off a significant number of its staff, according to its founder and CEO, Njoku Emmanuel.

In a statement released by the startup’s founder today, he acknowledged that the company had been battling with some financial crisis after the company’s “proposed lead investor pulled out resources abruptly” earlier this year.

Additionally, he claims that since that time, the company’s managerial team has worked without compensation. In the same vein, the rest of its employees have willingly taken pay cuts to keep the business afloat.

This is the complete statement:

According to the statement above, Njoku distanced Lazerpay’s current ordeal from the FTX crash and bankruptcy that sent some crypto exchanges into the “wildfire”. He claimed the startups’ customers’ funds are safe while the company will continue to process payments as usual.

Lazerpay has promised to list and recommend the outgoing staff for other opportunities with companies looking to hire them.

Nigeria's Lazerpay lays off staff after salary cuts and investor's withdrawal
Emmanuel Njoku, Founder of Lazerpay

Lazerpay becomes the latest participant in ‘layoff season.’

The layoffs in the tech space continue to swell, and the number of unemployed increases as more companies continue to downsize their staffs, citing the harsh economic environment and downturn caused by the pandemic and crippling inflation in global economies.

African startups are still far from out of the woods, as the ripple effects of a very terrible first quarter hit the continent. Founders worldwide have had to cut staff or pause hiring completely; in one case shut down operations entirely.

Nigeria's Lazerpay lays off staff after salary cuts and investor's withdrawal
Lazerpay layoffs staff, admits salary cuts.

Africa-focused cryptocurrency exchange, Quidax joined the list of African startups that have trimmed down their staff strength after the company laid off 20% of its employees.

That came barely two weeks after the Nigerian web3 startup, Nestcoin, announced the layoff of some employees due to the recent bankruptcy of FTX. The one-year-old Nestcoin held assets (cash and stablecoins) in the embattled crypto exchange to manage operational expenses.

Kenyan logistics startup Sendy laid off 10% of its 300-strong workforce, or 30 employees, TechCrunch reports. This was also one of the layoff news from Africa over the past couple of months after SwvlVezeeta, and Wave trimmed their staff sizes to reduce costs amid a series of global downturns and venture capital slowdown events.

Related post: The aftermath of the FTX: Is blockchain doomed to die? 

Also, Twiga, a B2B e-commerce food distribution network in Kenya, laid off 211 of its full-time employees following a restructuring that saw the company’s internal sales team disbanded.

The laid-off employees constitute about 21% of the over 1,000 employees domiciled in Kenya. The company serves as a link between farmers or agricultural producers, manufacturers of fast-moving consumer items, and merchants.

Nigeria's Lazerpay lays off staff after salary cuts and investor's withdrawal

Although Binance has revealed an Industry Recovery Initiative, a $1 billion fund to help affected crypto companies in the wake of the FTX collapse that sent shockwaves down the entire crypto industry, more and more crypto exchanges might go down given the circumstance they currently face.

Just recently, Lemon Cash, a crypto exchange, announced a layoff of 38% of its 100 staff to make the company sustainable in this crypto winter. Marcelo Cavazzoli, the CEO of Lemon Cash, announced the layoff in a Medium post with the title “open letter to the community.” He expressed his pain in the letter and cited the “challenging international context” for the layoff.

It is no longer news that the tech ecosystem is currently facing one of its most challenging times, not only in Africa but all around the world. Companies like Twitter, Meta, Amazon and Google have followed the downsizing trend.


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