Staff at the international subsidiaries of collapsed London payments unicorn Powa Technologies are trapped “in limbo” without pay or clarity around their future, according to a US employee who got in touch with Business Insider.
Powa Technologies, which makes payment apps, online shops, and payment terminals, was once valued at $2.7 billion (£1.8 billion) and raised at least $220 million from investors over the last three years. But the company collapsed into administration last month after running out of money. Accounts show it had just $250,000 at the start of February and debts of $16.4 million.
Deloitte has been handling Powa’s administration and this week sold off two of its divisions, saving 69 jobs. Powa employed 144 UK staff and those whose roles were not transferred in the sales have been made redundant.
But Powa employs more than 300 people globally, with offices in New York, France, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Korea, and Tokyo, according to its website.
That means over 160 jobs are still at risk, with the fate of these overseas subsidiaries as yet unclear.
One employee of Powa in the US contacted Business Insider to complain that they have not been paid since January and had medical benefits cut off. But the employee, who did not want to be named because of the ongoing issue around pay, said no one has been given letters of termination.
They say: “All of these employees are stuck in limbo and cannot even file for unemployment. Deloitte is telling them that they’re not responsible for this entity and to take it up with [Powa CEO] Dan Wagner and [Powa deputy chairman] Ant Sharp.”
The employee said an estimated 80 staff are in this position at Powa’s US business. Troubles first emerged at Powa’s UK business when staff complained of not being paid on time at the start of the year.
Deloitte declined to comment. Dan Wagner did not respond to an email and call asking for comment. BI contacted Powa’s former PR agency, Flame PR, to ask them to contact Ant Sharp for comment. We have yet to hear back and will update if and when we do.
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