Cellulant is parting ways with 20% of its headcount as it focuses on becoming a product-driven company.
Cellulant is undergoing a restructuring exercise that will impact a fifth of its workforce. In a statement to TechCabal, Cellulant, which operates across 19 markets, disclosed that these changes will be implemented in the coming days as the company focuses on a product-led approach that ideally creates user-centric products for growth. The company has clarified that this strategic shift has been in development for some time and has come to mutual agreements with affected employees. While Cellulant has declined to disclose the exact number of employees leaving the company, Cellulant has 634 employees per LinkedIn.
“Cellulant is moving towards a product-focused strategy which will, unfortunately, see approximately 20% of our pan-African team transitioning out of the company. We are committed to supporting our employees as we transition and cannot comment on their separation,” Cellulant said.
The affected workers will be served with exit packages, alongside 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,” Cellulant added.
Admittedly, the market has been challenging for African startups and the rest of the world. Other than that, Cellulant says it has been honing its business in the last two years to become “a merchant-focused payments business led by the productisation of its services and a complete revamp of its technology stack.” According to the company, these changes have led to the expansion of its customer network and 100% year-on-year revenue growth in its core offerings. Our next phase of growth required a shift to an agile product-driven organisation,” Cellulant shared.
Cellulant is consolidating some roles and creating new ones in the process. However, it has not closed any departments; instead, the payments company has “resized and reorganised for leaner efficient operations.” This marks Cellulant’s second round of layoffs, following a trimming in early 2023. While rumours circulated about substantial workforce cuts in specific markets, Cellulant has re-confirmed its presence across all markets. For instance, it highlights Nigeria as a key market, where it serves as the payment partner for various businesses such as airlines, QSR, e-commerce, ride-hailing, retail, and remittances.
Cellulant has also clarified that it did not lay off 30% of its workforce earlier this year. Instead, 27 employees left the company, with only four coming from Nigeria.
Full company statement
Leading Pan African payments firm, Cellulant, has announced adopting a product-led structure as its anchor for increased growth across the continent. This is part of its new organizational strategy that will see the company enhance its service offerings to evolving customer needs across the 19 countries it operates in.
The fintech, which powers payments for over 1,500 global, regional and local businesses across the continent, said the new strategy is informed by emerging market dynamics, investments in automation, and the recent consolidation of their product offerings in four already successful categories that are anchored by its robust banking, card, and MoMo wallet solutions on its payments platform.
“We remain cognizant of the ever-dynamic operating environment, influenced by many factors not limited to technological changes, consumer needs and market dynamics,” said Akshay Grover, Chief Executive Officer. “We’re therefore pursuing a leaner product-led strategy to support our scale and increase customer base. We also aim to drive operational efficiency measures to support our growth and operations in multiple geographies.”
Cellulant started operations in Kenya in 2003 and has since grown to become one of the largest pan-African payments companies offering both online and offline payments, 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.
Grover said the new implementation of the strategy business shift would entail consolidating essential functions and creating new roles. “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,” he said.