Egypt-and Dubai-based health-tech startup Vezeeta has laid off about 10% of its staff. Its LinkedIn profile says it has 500 staff so about 50 workers were laid off.
This news comes after Egypt-and Dubai-based mobility startup Swvl announced plans to lay off 32% of its workforce—400 people—in May.
What is it about Dubai?c
If you are not superstitious, nothing. Both of the African companies are based in Dubai, but the layoffs have nothing to do with their location. Rather, it has everything to do with the negative trajectory of the global economy. Globally, startups in different sectors are cutting costs to pursue profitability.
In fact, over 140,388 tech workers have lost their jobs since the second week of March due to this negative trajectory.
In the past, another round of funding may have catered to the cost of labour, but due to the economic downturn, follow-on funding isn’t guaranteed.
So Vezeeta is running out of cash?
Not particularly. Till now, the company hasn’t hinted at a need to cut costs. In fact, the healthtech company has received $73 million in total funding, $40 million of which was raised from a Series D funding round in 2020.
Launched in 2012, Vezeeta’s business has grown from the “Uber for ambulance” model to a subscription-based doctor booking and consultation platform. Its software-as-a-service solution offers doctor consultations, pharmacy, and diagnostics. It currently caters to 10 million patients across 78 cities (including Nigeria and Kenya).
Seeing that major players in Africa like Vezeeta and Swvl are not immune to “the great layoffs”, it would be a (pleasant) surprise if we do not hear any more layoff news about African startups in the near future.