WorldRemit becomes the latest fintech to shed jobs as the outlook darkens | business news


International money transfer service WorldRemit has become the latest fintech unicorn to hit an ax at its employees as falling valuations force founders onto a survival basis.

Sky News has learned that Zepz has laid off numerous employees in recent months, reducing its global workforce to around 1,000.

News of the layoffs comes just days after Sky News revealed that Zepz CEO Breon Corcoran, had resigned in light of dwindling short-term prospects for an IPO of the company.

In a statement, a Zepz spokesperson said: “In February of this year, Zepz’s leadership shared a strategy internally to reduce our cost base and seek a greater level of financial independence to ensure we serve our millions of customers around the world be able to operate sustainably and independently of further third-party funds.

“Unfortunately, some of these changes impacted a number of roles across the organization and layoffs were announced.

“These layoffs affected less than 5% of WorldRemit jobs globally.”

The company’s HR team has “engaged a thorough vetting process to keep as many colleagues as possible in alternative internal roles across the Zepz Group,” the statement added.

“Today, WorldRemit has over 1,000 permanent positions and continues to hire exceptional talent around the world under a newly launched employment policy aimed at remote control.”

Zepz claimed it was “ahead of similar moves in the broader economy” by shedding its workforce earlier this year, although a spokeswoman acknowledged it had not previously announced those actions publicly.

In recent weeks, other big fintechs like Klarna, the buy-now-pay-later platform, have cut significant chunks of their workforce.

Zepz was preparing to be listed in the US later this year with a valuation of $6 billion.

However, the decreasing likelihood of an initial public offering (IPO) amid war-torn Ukraine public markets and the possibility of a severe global economic downturn is said to have been a factor in Mr Corcoran’s exit.

Founded in 2009, WorldRemit has established partnerships with a large number of international banks and mobile network operators.

Last summer, it raised nearly $300 million in new funding in a Series E round, valuing it at $5 billion, according to a public statement at the time.

In 2020, Zepz’s brands — which includes Sendwave — enabled over 4.5 million monthly transactions on its platform and generated $338 million in revenue, it said.

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