Kitopi, the Dubai-based cloud kitchen platform that raised $60 million in a massive Series B round earlier this year, has laid off over 10 percent of its workforce, MENAbytes has learned. The layoffs were first reported by different American media outlets last week which noted that the company is cutting 124 jobs in New York City alone.
The cloud kitchen operator that with restaurants to manage all their operations for food delivery from the call center to delivering the food at customers doorstep (using different aggregators and delivery services), had expanded to New York less than six months ago but it was a different city back then.
Today, with over 180,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and close to 20,000 deaths, it is the worst-affected city by the Coronavirus in the world. The restaurants in the city have stayed closed since mid-March and due to lockdown, Kitopi also had to suspend its operations temporarily.
A Kitopi spokesperson in a statement provided to MENAbytes confirmed the layoffs but did not share the details. We’ve learned that the company has cut its workforce from all its markets (which include the United States, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, and Kuwait) and the number of people who’ve lost their jobs is over 150, which makes up about 12.5 percent of Kitopi’s workforce.
“Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Kitopi has had to take measures to ensure the overall sustainability of our business. Some of these have led to difficult decisions negatively impacting our colleagues across our offices and kitchens. None more so that in New York City, which unfortunately has become the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the spokesperson in a statement to MENAbytes.
“Our leadership team has closely monitored the situation in New York daily. Ultimately, we had to make the difficult decision to suspend operations given the uncertainty and unprecedented nature of this global pandemic. This has sadly led to a number of redundancies. The US remains a strategic market for us and we will continue to monitor the situation closely,” the statement added.
In Dubai, Kitopi has recently launched its grocery delivery service, Shop Kitopi, that delivers vegetables, fruits, meat, and more across the city in 60 minutes or less. It is not immediately clear if they have any plans to expand the service to its other markets.