Nigerian B2B e-commerce platform, Alerzo, has confirmed it has laid off 15% of its full-time workforce in its second round of job cuts in seven months. This comes after the company’s first layoffs last September, which affected 5% of its full-time employees.
The first layoffs were performance-related and involved digitizing some roles, including developing an internal ERP. The second round of cuts was due to a profitability push, impacting 15% of its full-time employees across various departments, leaving around 800 employees at the startup.
Alerzo, which serves over 100,000 retailers, was breakeven in Q3 2021 before undertaking major expansion nationwide and overhiring after raising $10m+ in a Series A financing round.
However, feeling the impact of the broader economy after enjoying rapid growth in 2020-21, Alerzo wants to restructure and cut back payroll to boost profits. The company believes that with the payment licenses it has received, it can speed up its path to breakeven more quickly and reach profitability by Q3 this year.
The company said it will pay out all contractual notice periods and provide additional severance, counselling services, and HMO coverage until the end of 2023 for affected employees.
Alerzo is one of several African startups to have conducted two rounds of layoffs over the past year, including mobility startup SWVL, fintech Chipper Cash, and e-commerce startup Sendy. Jumia, as part of its streamlining efforts in Q4 last year, terminated 900 positions across its 11 markets, affecting 20% of its staff.