Kenyan startup twiga
Home Uncategorized Kenyan Foodtech Startup Twiga Dismisses 21% of its Employees
Uncategorized - 3 weeks ago

Kenyan Foodtech Startup Twiga Dismisses 21% of its Employees

Kenyan B2B e-commerce food distribution platform, Twiga has laid off 211 of its full-time employees as a result of restructuring. This has eliminated the startup’s in-house sales team.

The company, which connects farmers or agricultural producers, manufacturers of fast-moving consumer items, and retailers, laid off 21% of its more than 1,000 workers, mostly in Kenya.

To mitigate the effect of the staff getting laid-off, CEO and co-founder Peter Njonjo gave the company’s fired trade development representatives the choice of remaining in the company as independent agents, earning money based on the number of clients they bring in and the amount of sales they generate.

The representatives were in charge of signing up vendors, handling customer service, market research, and product promotion. The agents in the current proposal will perform comparable tasks.

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Kenyan Twiga limiting its employees’ travel allowance 

According to reports, Twiga has reduced worker travel reimbursements as part of its cost-cutting efforts.

“Twiga recently launched a new optimised sales agents’ program … where current Trade Development Representatives (TDRs) will transition from permanent employees into independent agents on a 100% commission basis,” said Twiga, adding that the TDR transition complied with labour rules and that affected employees were given the first option to switch to the new model.

The business claims that by the end of the first quarter of the following year, it will have generated 1,000 opportunities using the agent model.

“This transition creates an opportunity for entrepreneurship open to former sales agents and the general public. The benefit of this transition is that it allows for higher earnings based on the effort and enterprise of the agent. 

This model has worked with other businesses like insurance and banking that have transitioned fully into Independent Agents in Kenya.”

Twiga joining other downsizing startups

Twiga, co-founded by Njonjo and Grant Brooke in 2014, is the latest firm to cut staff due to a downturn in venture capital funding that has made it difficult to get funds for operations and growth.

The layoffs se modifications occur exactly one year after Twiga raised $50 million in a series C round of funding to scale in Kenya and enter surrounding nations. 

Creadev, a family office and private equity business with offices in Paris and Nairobi, served as the round’s lead investor, with follow-on investments coming from TLcom Capital, IFC Ventures, DOB Equity, and Goldman Sachs’ offshoot Juven.

In order to address traceability issues, stock outs, and price fluctuation, which have made it difficult for the company to deliver on its promise of affordability and food security, they also just developed Twiga Fresh, an addition to their private label.

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