Technology-based logistics firm Sendy Group has been placed under administration after defaulting on its debt, marking the latest startup to collapse.
The High Court has appointed Peter Kahi of PKF Consulting to run the company with a goal of first turning it around and the possibility of liquidating its assets if the rescue efforts fail.
The move comes after Sendy had announced earlier that it was looking to sell the business to new investors, indicating that the proposed transaction fell through.
Sendy’s indebtedness was not immediately clear.
Mr Kahi will oversee the startup’s outfits including Sendy Kenya Freight Ltd, Sendy Ltd, Sendy Store Ltd and Sendy Kenya Marketplace Ltd.
The logistics firm shut down its retail and supplier trading platform known as Sendy Supply in October last year, axing 20 percent of its workforce citing funding challenges.
Mr Kahi said he will call a meeting with Sendy’s suppliers within 60 to 90 days.
“Any party having a claim against Sendy should submit their claim in writing together with the relevant supporting documents and proof of debt form to the administrator before October 19, 2023, for consideration,” he said.
Sendy, which has raised $29 million (Sh4.2 billion), had been expanding since 2015, increasing its headcount from the four founders Mesh Alloys, Evanson Biwott, Don Okoth, and American Malaika Judd, to 300 workers.
Since 2021, the company has been seeking to raise $100 million (Sh14.8 billion) for expansion into western and southern Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Egypt.
The company faces similar difficulties to those that have hit the startup segment as funding dries up and dollar debt repayment costs soar on weaker shilling.
The tech start-up industry has also been hit by a saturated market and an explosion of service providers, targeting market dislocations caused by Covid-19.
Sendy’s woes come at a time when several tech start-ups have shut down their operations, with most of them citing difficult market conditions as well as funding hitches.
A Business Daily analysis shows that at least seven major Kenyan-based tech start-ups have gone down in under one year.
The most recent one to shut in March this year was e-commerce platform Zumi which said funding had dried up.
Others that closed shop earlier are Kune Foods, Notify Logistics, WeFarm, BRCK, and Sky-Garden.