Owing to the worsening global macro outlook, companies all over the world have come under serious financial strain. This has particularly affected VC-backed startups who now are grappling with markdown in valuations and a funding crunch that had long fueled their cash burn. Consequently, extravagant employee perks and aggressive talent have been replaced by mass layoffs and hiring freezes. According to the Layoffs.fyi tracker, 979 tech companies have laid off more than 151,000 employees already. That list includes the likes of Meta which laid off 13% of its workforce in November and other giants like Amazon, Twitter, Uber etc.
Pakistan’s economic situation has also been tumultuous amid uncertainty over the IMF program. Changing tides in the global VC landscape have also come to haunt the country as startup funding dipped 40% in Q2-2022 and showed a 46% QoQ decline in Q3-2022. With investments drying out, survival instincts and austerity measures have kicked in. Many local players have announced mass layoffs while some have even shut shop.
What it does (did): Airlift started off as a smart bus service but after Covid-19, pivoted to quick commerce offering grocery delivery in 30 minutes.
Total Funding: $109.2M
Scale-down 32% of staff laid off in April, complete shutdown of operations in July
Reason: Running out of cash while money from investors would take 2+ months to be wired.
What it does: Retailo is an online regional B2B marketplace for SME retailers in the MENAP region.
Total Funding: $45M
Scale-down: Unspecified number of employees from the engineering and logistics team
Reason: Strategic alignment in order to focus on driving profitability and sustainability
What it does: SWVL offers tech-enabled mass transit solutions in 135 cities in 20 countries.
Total Funding: $244M
Scale-down: Complete workforce in Pakistan
Reason: Complete wrap-up of operations in Pakistan due to global economic downturn.
What it does: VavaCars is a used-car transactions platform based in Turkey.
Total Funding: $50M
Scale-down: Complete team looking after operations in Pakistan (70+ employees)
Reason: Permanent closure of operations in Pakistan.
What it does: Sendoso is a sending platform that helps companies connect and drive revenue with personalized gifts, eGifts, virtual experiences, and more.
Total Funding: $152.7M
Scale-down: 90% of its team in Pakistan (70+ employees)
Reason: ‘Strategic realignment to reduce surface area’
What it does: Truck-it-in is a B2B platform tech company that provides simplified freight solutions.
Total Funding: $17.5M
Scale-down: 30% of the workforce (60+ employees)
Reason: Reduction in headcount due to global economic downturn.
What it does: Dawaai is an online pharmacy for complete healthcare management.
Total Funding: $9.5M
Scale-down: Complete team looking after operations in Hyderabad (35+ employees)
Reason: Service pulled out of the market in Hyderabad.
What it does: Jovi Technologies is an online delivery solution provider.
Total Funding: –
Scale-down: Complete workforce laid off (240+ employees)
Reason: As per the founder, the startup has temporarily halted operations and will resume operations within 6-8 weeks.*
What it does: Dukan.pk digitizes sellers by helping them create web stores, accept online payments and automate delivery.
Total Funding: –
Scale-down: 25% of the total workforce
Reason: Wants to achieve profitability and decrease reliance on VC funding.
What it does: Trax is an end-to-end logistics and supply chain company that offers last-mile delivery services to over 450+ destinations in Pakistan.
Total Funding: –
Scale-down: 50 employees with more layoffs in the pipeline
Reason: 15-20% reduction in the total workforce due to rise in costs and dip in volume
What it does: Motive, formerly KeepTruckin, builds technology to improve the safety, productivity and profitability of businesses that power the physical economy.
Total Funding: $567.3M
Scale-down: 6% of its workforce (237 employees)
Reason: Correction in over-hiring after business boomed after Covid.
What it does: Uber is an app-based platform offering ride-hailing and on-demand services services.
Total Funding: $25.2B
Scale-down: Teams from Karachi, Multan, Faisalabad, Peshawar and Islamabad.
Reason: Scaling back of operations in Pakistan by pulling out of five of the six cities Uber was active in.
PS: If you have any details about other companies that have let go of their staff recently, please reach out to us at [email protected]