Andela has laid off 135 employees across five markets as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic begins to bite.
The layoffs which have been reported to affect mostly senior Andelans were disclosed during CEO Jeremy Johnson video conference call attended by over 1,300 staff from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana, Egypt, and the United States.
In an email to staff, Johnson stated that Andela’s customer base has collectively done fairly well this period. However, the majority of them have been massively affected by the coronavirus pandemic hence the startup is projecting a decline in customers.
‘’While our customer base has held up better than most, the majority have still been impacted by the economic downturn.
‘’And while I’ve been blown away by messages from engineering leaders explaining how much they value the Andelans on their team, we’re still going to see churn spike this year as well as a decline in new customers due to the economic uncertainty.
“Now that we know that growth is going to be much slower than anticipated, we need to cut costs to ensure that we make it to the other side.’’ the email read.
The layoff represents 10% of the staff size and is the third round of layoffs in the company within the last 9 months. No engineers are impacted by this reduction.
To cushion the impact of the layoffs which is expected to start taking effect from May 8, 2020, the Africa-focused tech talent incubator will provide comprehensive severance packages as well as four months of health coverage in every country to the affected staff.
Additionally, due to the extraordinary circumstances of this period, the company says it has secured two one-time approvals from its board to allow those who were granted options the ability to be an owner of Andela.
‘The first is by removing the vesting cliff of any exiting employees who have been with Andela for less than a year so that they can exercise the options that would have vested if it weren’t in place.
“The second is that for all exiting employees, the company has extended the exercise window from three months to one year.
‘’If you are impacted, you’ll receive an invitation for your departure meeting today, where you’ll have a chance to ask questions to make sure you understand your package.’’ read the email.
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