Kenyan startup Copia shuts Ugandan operation

A Copia agent delivers goods to a customer. Copia is among the firms in DOB Equity's portfolio. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Kenyan e-commerce startup Copia Global has shut down its Ugandan operation barely two years after it ventured into the landlocked market, citing economic downturn and limited access to capital.

The firm said it had suspended its African expansion plan after raising $50 million (Sh6.8 billion) from investors last year to spread its footprint into other markets, including Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.

The move is expected to affect about 350 jobs in Uganda, the firm told Business Daily on Wednesday.

“To accelerate Copia’s drive to profitability, the company decided to pause its Africa expansion plans and suspend its recently established Uganda operation through this period. This decision will enable Copia to focus all its resources on the operation in Kenya, enabling the business to reach profitability faster, at which point we shall resume our pan-African expansion plan,” said Copia.

Copia, founded in Kenya by Tracey Turner and Jonathan Lewis in 2013, is a business-to-customer (B2C) platform that allows unserved and underserved customers to order goods through its mobile technologies, agents and logistic channel.

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