Sendy, a prominent Kenyan logistics startup that provided retailers with direct access to FMCG manufacturers and other services, is reportedly shutting down its operations as it navigates an acquisition process and explores a sale of its assets. The startup’s co-founder, Meshack Alloys, confirmed the ongoing acquisition to TechCrunch but refrained from divulging further details. The official joint statement is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
Challenges and Struggles
Sources suggest that Sendy has encountered financial difficulties over the past year, culminating in a depletion of funds two months ago. The startup had undertaken cost-cutting measures, including a reduction in its workforce, to stay afloat.
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Despite its valuation of over $80 million in late 2022, Sendy’s efforts to raise $100 million were met with challenges, and it secured only a fraction of the desired funding from MOL PLUS, the corporate venture capital arm of Japanese transport company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.
Hurdles in Fundraising
Efforts to secure additional capital from investors at a lower valuation were hampered when a significant investor withdrew from the transaction. As a result, Sendy has grappled with a shortage of funds, including funds to cover employee salaries for the past several months. The startup is now in the process of selling its assets, including technology and fulfillment operations, to salvage its financial situation.
Prospective Buyers and Future Outlook
Sendy is reportedly in discussions with other African companies operating in the B2B e-commerce and trucking sectors, such as Trella, Sabi, Wasoko, and its own investor, to offload some of its assets. The negotiations encompass a range of options, including potential acquisitions. The anticipated closure of Sendy is expected to affect over 200 employees.
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Founded in 2015 by Meshack Alloys, Evanson Biwott, Don Okoth, and Malaika Judd, Sendy had raised $26.5 million in disclosed funding from various investors, including Toyota Tsusho, Atlantica Ventures, VestedWorld, Keppel Capital, Enza Capital, AAICA Investment Pte Ltd, Sunu Capital, and Goodwill Investments.
While Sendy’s journey reflects the challenges faced by certain B2B e-commerce companies, it also underscores the complex landscape of fundraising and operational sustainability in the fast-evolving tech sector.