Senegalese fintech startup Wave was recently in the spotlight after the company received €90 Million in investment from the World Bank investment arm – the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and others.
Although Wave recently received significant investment, the company laid off about 15 percent of its workforce in June, as seen in a Techcrunch report. The latest development followed after former expansion lead Jessica Chervin who had joined Wave from Andela wrote in March that she was leaving the company. “Like many tech companies, Wave is adjusting rapidly to the jarring changes in capital markets in recent months and like the best of them (and importantly, as a financial institution), it has had to make very hard calls in order to ensure that it can continue to serve customers in existing markets now and long into the future. This vital shift in strategic priorities means that I and many others are leaving Wave far earlier than anyone had hoped,” her LinkedIn post read.
A Wave spokesperson has since confirmed that “close to 15%” of the company’s almost 2,000 staff were let go.” The lay-off, therefore, affected about 300 employees and most of them worked in the company’s new markets – Burkina Faso, Uganda, and Mali.
A statement issued on the 30th of June also backs up the lay-off. Wave had said that it was reducing its team in its new markets as part of its strategy of not having to imminently depend on new funding in the reality of investors cutting down on their investments.
According to Wave, its decision will help it increase its focus on its main markets – Senegal and Ivory Coast “where we are market leaders in mobile money with growing businesses.”
Since the startup made its debut, it has done impressively well for itself standing alongside other startups like Flutterwave, Interswitch, Opay, Andela, etc., as one of the most valued startups in Africa. Wave is currently valued at $1.7 billion, is Francophone Africa’s first unicorn, and the largest mobile money provider in Senegal.
Wave isn’t the only company that has laid-off workers. Global companies such as Tesla, Coinbase, Microsoft, Netflix, etc., have also laid-off workers to cope with the current economic realities.