Kenyan fintech, Cellulant is downsizing its workforce by 20%

Kenyan fintech startup, Cellulant has laid off 20% of its workforce as it transitions into “product-focused strategy”.

Kenyan fintech, Cellulant is downsizing its workforce by 20%
Akshay Grover- Group CEO, Cellulant (L)

Cellulant is laying off 20% of its employees as part of its efforts to transition into a “product-focused strategy”. The Kenyan fintech startup has about 634 employees, according to its LinkedIn page.

“We remain cognizant of the ever-dynamic operating environment, influenced by many factors not limited to technological changes, consumer needs, and market dynamics,” says Akshay Grover, CEO of Cellulant. “We’re therefore pursuing a leaner product-led strategy to support our scale and increase customer base.”

Cellulant started operations in Kenya in 2003 and has since grown to become one of the largest payments companies offering both online and offline payments in Africa, with businesses across various sectors such as oil and gas, ride-hailing, e-commerce, travel, logistics, retail, airlines, and fast-moving consumer goods, in its client list.

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Cellulant is currently present in 18 African countries with a payments platform connecting thousands of businesses with 154 payment options across 35 countries. The platform powers payments for over 220 million consumers on a single inclusive network allowing for interoperability across Africa.

The affected workers will receive a severance package, including extended medical cover for themselves and their families. “Our goal is to treat our impacted colleagues with dignity and respect. As such, we provide comprehensive separation packages and extended medical coverage for every impacted employee and their families in every country,” the company said in a statement.

Contrary to the news that broke earlier this year regarding a 30% job cut at the company, Cellulant claims that only 27 employees left the company, including four from Nigeria. Bendada.com has been unable to verify this claim.

Cellulant powers payments for over 1,500 global, regional, and local businesses across the continent. Its “product-focused strategy” is informed by emerging market dynamics, investments in automation, and the recent consolidation of its product offerings in four already successful categories that are anchored by its robust banking, card, and MoMo wallet solutions on its payments platform.

The company said it is bullish on expanding its offerings in the West African country. “Cellulant has come a long way to become a leader in the pan-African payments space. Innovation, efficiency, and agility will underpin our narrative over the next few years, and these are the first of critical steps,” Grover said.

Earlier this year, the Kenyan fintech appointed Ibrahim Aminu as its general manager for Nigeria. Aminu was saddled with the responsibility of managing and overseeing the day-to-day operations and providing leadership as Cellulant expands coverage for Tingg, Cellulant’s Digital Payments platform, across Nigeria.

Tingg is the payments partner for many Nigerian businesses such as GIG Logistics, Perfect Trust Cosmetics, Simba Group, Chicken Republic, and global companies such as Emirates, Bolt, and PepsiCo.  The platform enables businesses across Nigeria – in the airline, QSR, e-commerce, ride-hailing, retail, and remittances sectors – to pay and get paid offline and online seamlessly.

Prior to Aminu's appointment, the Central Bank of Nigeria renewed Cellulant’s Payment Service Solution Provider License in Nigeria. this license enables Cellulant to continue providing online and offline payment solutions, including collections, check-out, biller aggregation, and payout services securely to thousands of businesses across Nigeria.

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