Copia fails to raise funding, enters into administration

Copia Global, the Kenyan last-mile delivery and eCommerce platform has entered administration. The Company has hired Makenzi Muthusi and Julius Ngonga of KPMG to lead an administration process.

Copia Global, the parent company of Copia Kenya said in a statement that it has been unable to attract capital, a move that has seen it unable to run its operations. 

‘’Copia Global, the parent company of Copia Kenya, was unable to attract capital on terms that were amenable to all existing stakeholders, funders and investors. Copia Global is now winding down, leaving the Copia Kenya business in a new position to raise capital directly.’’ the statement read.

‘’The Administrator will work with management to raise capital from new investors for the Kenya business.’’

Under the mandate of the Administrator, the company says the Copia Kenya management team will implement a plan with a lower burn rate, an accelerated path to profitability and a focus on the increasingly digital consumer. 

The move is of course expected to affect a huge chunk of its employees which the company say is necessary.

‘’While preserving jobs is a key goal through administration, unfortunately, a retrenchment of staff will likely be necessary in the near future to right size and right shape Copia to the new digital opportunity and create a position for growth’’ it said. 

The startup has raised around $123 million across eight funding rounds but says the capital markets environment has been extremely difficult in the last two years, with a significant reduction in capital flowing into Africa generally and the e-commerce space specifically. 

In July last year, the company laid off 25% (around 350 members) of the permanent workforce. This came just a few months after it sent home another 50 employees. In April, the same year Copia announced that the economic downturn and constrained capital markets had forced it to suspend its African expansion plans. The move saw the firm even suspend its operations in Uganda just a few months after entering the country. 

Founded in 2013 by Silicon Valley veterans Tracey Turner and Jonathan Lewis in Kenya, Copia was the first mobile retail platform built with the potential to serve 750 million middle to low-income African consumers. The startup leveraged a network of digitally enabled local agents to connect with customers in the manner of their choice, including in person, by phone, text messaging, USSD or smartphone app.

Copia now joins a growing list of Kenyan startups that have closed shop after failing to raise fresh capital including Sendy and iProcure.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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