African payments company Paystack has reduced its operations outside of Africa, trimming its workforce in Europe and Dubai. This decision comes as part of a streamlining effort, particularly in markets where the company had previously hired technical roles to support its primary operations in Africa.
Paystack reduced its workforce by 33 employees, as highlighted by co-founder and CEO Shola Akinlade 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. This expansion was complemented by recruiting staff in Europe through remote operations and establishing an engineering hub in Dubai. Paystack had already maintained offices in Lagos and San Francisco prior to these developments.
Paystack currently maintains an operational footprint in four markets: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. The company, characterized by its lean operation, has experienced a moderate expansion in staff strength, contributing to a series of product releases over the past three years. Notable developments include introducing an app for Shopify, launching a terminal device and, most recently, adding a direct debit feature. Paystack has also developed integrations with global software and payment solutions, with notable examples being ApplePay. The company is undergoing private beta testing in Ivory Coast, Egypt and Rwanda as part of its strategic expansion efforts.
Yet, despite the progress on these fronts, the Stripe subsidiary, which has over 150 employees per LinkedIn, acknowledges it’s time to change strategy. Stripe itself had 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 those affected will receive a severance package that includes four months’ salary, accelerated equity vesting and health insurance extended 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.