International money transfer startup WorldRemit quietly cut around 30 staff in London and the US last July.
Business Insider was tipped off that WorldRemit, which was valued at $500 million (£349.8 million) in a $100 million (£69.9 million) funding round last year, made redundancies and withdrew job offers last year.
Subsequent digging shows the news was picked up by the Denver Business Journal at the time (WorldRemit’s US office is there) but the news doesn’t appear to have made its way to London.
WorldRemit confirmed to Business Insider that it laid off 15 staff in its London office last July and retracted 15 job offers that had been made to prospective employees in the US.
Two former WorldRemit employees told Business Insider that at least 10 US staff were also made redundant at that time but a spokesperson for the company said only “a handful” were made redundant. An inspection of LinkedIn shows at least three staff left the US office at that time.
Hammersmith-based WorldRemit is one of the most high-profile and valuable tech startups in London. Founded by Ismail Ahmed, a Somali-born former anti-money laundering advisor to the UN, WorldRemit targets the remittance market — economic migrants looking to send money back home. The company’s app lets people send money directly to people’s phones rather than to money transfer offices, cutting out hassle.
A spokesperson for WorldRemit told Business Insider: “As most growing tech firms do, we have to reconfigure from time to time. We did let people go who didn’t have the right skills that suited us at the time. However since then we have continued to hire. We have a bigger headcount now than we did last July.”
WorldRemit currently employs 230 people worldwide. The spokesperson said delays in the US licensing process were behind the rescinded offers and redundancies in the US.
In the UK, the spokesperson said the redundancies were part of a restructuring and most were on short-term contracts. They also said the July redundancy round was the only one of significance in the last year.
Ahmed told Business Insider in an emailed statement: “At the current rate of investment, we’re on track to become profitable towards the end of the year.”
WorldRemit says it had revenue of £27 million last year, up from £15 million in 2014. The company made a loss of £10 million in 2014, the most recent period accounts are available for.