In October last year, Sendy, a Kenyan logistics scale-up, wound up its supplies service, which enabled retailers to purchase FMCGs directly from manufacturers, saying it was directing all its focus on its end-to-end fulfillment offering.
Months later, the company is ceasing on-ground operations in Nigeria, one of its four markets in Africa. This means that it will no longer fulfill orders in the West African country, saying it has become “a fully-integrated tech solution” that will match online buyers with the right logistics providers. Its fulfillment service remains unchanged in other markets.
The new changes imply that Sendy will abandon its asset-heavy model that facilitated order fulfillment from parcel pickup, warehousing to last-mile delivery in Nigeria. The company, which launched in Nigeria at the end of 2021, said the move was necessitated by the need to find the right kind of product for the market.
Sendy ceases on-the-ground operations in Nigeria
It was not immediately clear how many employees would be affected by the closure out of approximately 220 employees, but Sendy confirmed that some jobs will be lost in its latest round of layoffs.
“Fulfillment continues to be at the core of what Sendy does. We are not pivoting. In Nigeria, we have made the decision to cease on-the-ground operations and focus instead on getting the right product. This means that we will continue to connect sellers to logistics providers but will no longer consign their goods,” said Sendy Nigeria General Manager Daniel Edeimu.
“Sendy as a fully integrated tech solution will receive orders via e-commerce plugins, ERPs or API and support with finding the best logistics partners and advising the sellers,” said Edeimu, adding that the company plans to offer additional services like financial services and storefronts.
Sendy, co-founded in 2015 by Kenyans Evanson Biwott and Don Okoth and American Malaika Judd, has in recent months changed its approach in its markets, including Kenya, Uganda and Ivory Coast, to improve efficiency while adjusting to macroeconomic headwinds that have made it hard to fundraise.
It had targeted to raise $100 million last year, and managed to raise some undisclosed funding from MOL PLUS, the corporate venture capital of Japanese transport company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, to scale its fulfillment offering, which remains its core service across several markets.
“The investment was both financial and operational…As for the operational part, Sendy and MOL are working jointly to unlock infrastructural and other operational hurdles to serving our customers. As previously mentioned, in the countries that have attained product-market fit, Sendy is seeing incredible growth. Partners such as MOL are enhancing our ability to meet the demand,” said Edeimu.
Sendy has so far raised $26.5 million in disclosed funding from a number of investors that include Toyota Tsusho, Atlantica Ventures, VestedWorld, Keppel Capital, Enza Capital, AAICA Investment Pte Ltd, Sunu Capital and Goodwill Investments.