African payments company Paystack has downsized its operations outside of Africa, leading to a reduction in its workforce in Europe and Dubai. The decision is part of an effort to streamline its operations, especially in markets where the company had previously hired technical roles to support its primary operations in Africa.
Co-founder and CEO Shola Akinlade highlighted the reduction in the workforce, with 33 employees affected, in a tweet on Thursday. Following its acquisition by U.S.-based fintech Stripe, Paystack expanded its geographical presence by establishing offices in Accra, Cape Town, Dubai, and Nairobi. Additionally, it recruited staff in Europe through remote operations and set up an engineering hub in Dubai. Prior to these developments, Paystack already had offices in Lagos and San Francisco.
Paystack currently operates in four markets: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. The company, known for its lean operation, has experienced moderate expansion in staff strength, leading to a series of product releases over the past three years. Notable developments include introducing an app for Shopify, launching a terminal device, and recently adding a direct debit feature. Paystack has also developed integrations with global software and payment solutions, including ApplePay. The company is currently undergoing private beta testing in Ivory Coast, Egypt, and Rwanda as part of its strategic expansion efforts.
However, despite progress on these fronts, the Stripe subsidiary, which has over 150 employees per LinkedIn, recognizes the need to change strategy. Stripe itself had previously laid off 14% of its team last year and a few dozen this June.
“We’re changing our operating model to prioritize locating team members within the markets we serve, to localize costs and get closer to customers,” Akinlade said. The chief executive noted that affected employees will receive a severance package, including four months’ salary, accelerated equity vesting, and extended health insurance by three months.
“These are some of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with, and my goal is to ensure that every single one finds new roles as soon as possible. I’m personally happy to vouch for each one and do reference calls as needed,” he added in the tweet while leaving a form for parties interested in hiring the affected Paystack employees, whose roles cut across software engineering, legal and compliance, finance, sales and marketing, product design, and human resources.