Parcel delivery challenger brand Sendle is the latest start-up to cut its sales and cut 12% – about 26 positions – from its team.
The eight-year-old company, which presents itself as the combative alternative to Australia Post, raised $45 million 12 months ago from ASX-listed AP Ventures and NRMA Insurance, among others. Over the past year, the customer base has grown by 25%, over a million users in Australia and the US, after launching in North America in 2019.
Founder James Chin Moody said the job cuts are a “preventive step” amid lingering uncertainty and the company has also increased investment to weather the storm.
“From our strong presence in the US, we have seen closely the impact of increasing volatility in the capital market, and like many large tech companies, we felt we needed to take preventive measures to ensure we can continue to grow while resilient. against some lingering market uncertainty over the next two years,” he said.
“Over a month ago, we made the very difficult but wise decision to implement a small number of layoffs across all departments, equivalent to approximately 12% of our current global workforce. We have also raised additional capital from existing investors to ensure we have sufficient runway in the near future. Both moves were intended to make our company stronger and more resilient to all market conditions.”
Sendle previously raised $19 million in 2020 from backers including King River Capital, Alberts Impact Capital and Marinya Capital. A $5 million Series A was raised in 2016.
Chin Moody said the company’s strategy has not changed and they are now looking to expand further north of the US border in the second half of 2022.
“We continue to develop our products, prove our sustainability credentials and create new package options for small businesses. We will also be launching in Canada, our third global market, later this year to build on the strength of our North American market expansion,” he said.
“While these decisions are never easy, they put us in a strong position to weather any significant changes in the markets worldwide.”
The job losses in Sendle come amid a growing list of layoffs at tech startups, with neobank Volt closing three years after launch after failing to find new capital, with the loss of 140 jobs. Melbourne cryptocurrency startup Banxa cut 30% of its workforce and fintech Brighte cut 15% of its team, while Melbourne-based creative marketplace Envato announced it would cut 100 jobs worldwide. Medtech clinical trials HealthMatch has cut its team in half and cut 18 jobs.