Chipper Cash lays off employees after suspending US operations

5 mins read

One week after suspending its services in America, Chipper Cash has laid off 20 employees in its UK and US business, three people affected by those layoffs told TechCabal. Today’s layoffs affected at least two of the company’s executives, the same people said.

Ham Serunjogi, the company’s CEO, along with two of his brothers, Nuwa and Tefiro Serunjogi, and Chipper’s co-founder Maijid Moujaled, along with his brother Ryan Moujaled, are the only members of the team in the US, according to a former employee who wished to remain anonymous.

Chipper Cash did not respond to TechCabal’s request comments.

In a blog post published today, Ham Serunjogi announced plans to relocate “a handful” of US and UK-based positions to African markets like South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria.

The fintech company, backed by Jeff Bezos’s Bezos expedition, laid off 15 people and slashed salaries by 25% for its UK and US employees in December but insisted its business was “doing very well.”

While Chipper told US customers to withdraw their funds urgently, Serunjogi told The Information the suspension had a “very small impact on very few people, relatively speaking.” It is unclear how many of the company’s customers are in the UK and US. 

“Chipper expected profitability within three months, but that will not happen. So, they are laying off employees in the US and the UK,” an ex-employee told TechCabal.

In the past year, four rounds of layoffs at the company have affected several high-profile executives, including Alicia Levine, the Chief Operating Officer and Leon Kiptum, its country director for Kenya. 

Chipper Cash had previously cut salaries of its U.S. and U.K. staff by 25% but allowed them to work four days per week. 

Before suspending its U.S. operations, Chipper Cash told customers to withdraw funds from their Chipper wallets. Ham Serunjogi stated to The Information that the U.S. business had a “very small impact on very few people.”

The recent staff reductions indicate that Chipper is now focused on its operations in Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, and Rwanda. 

Once valued at over $2 billion, Chipper Cash has faced challenges in the last two years as the global economy slowed and venture capital funding dried up. 

Despite raising $300 million between 2019 and 2021 from investors like Deciens Capital, Ribbit Group, FTX, and Silver Valley Bank, the company began experiencing financial losses. One source mentioned that its monthly burn rate gradually grew to $7 million per month, possibly peaking in May 2021 after the Series C funding round.

*This is a developing story

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