Dash Fintech Startup Collapses After Raising Over $80M

Published 8 months ago

Dash, an African fintech startup, is on the brink of collapse, leaving stakeholders and observers shocked. The company has reportedly been in trouble for some months, with insiders claiming that it has been going downhill since raising over $80 million in venture capital to revolutionize Africa’s digital wallets landscape.

Inevitable Downfall

In a company-wide virtual meeting held on October 3, it was confirmed that Dash is laying off staff and winding down. This news, while anticipated, has left many employees despondent. Over the past few months, many staff members have been seeking new job opportunities, with about 20 resignations in the last two months alone.

A Difficult Day

In the meeting, led by CEO Ken Kinyua and board chair Roel Janssen, a Partner at Global Founders Capital, it was announced that Dash will be sunsetting. All employees were told to check their emails for further information, with promises of a lean team left to handle the subsequent steps. It was also communicated that the remaining funds would be used as compensation to employees.

Hope for Kenyan Operations

Despite the company’s demise, sources have indicated that there is hope for Dash’s Kenyan operations. A few employees will be retained to finish developing the product and make it ready for sale. The retained team will consist of the CEO, Legal Officer, Compliance Officer, HR, CFO and four Country Managers to oversee the transition and the winding down process.

Damage Control

The company issued a statement announcing the decision to restructure Dash, which includes a significant reduction in workforce, as a necessary step to conserve financial resources and ensure the company’s stability. Insiders, however, have labeled this as an attempt at damage control. There are reports of pressure from the media to explain why a heavily funded startup fell so quickly.

Questionable Spending

At its peak, Dash employed over 100 people full-time and more than a dozen consultants in five countries. Former employees believe the operation was too top-heavy too soon, with excessive spending on salaries and office bills for a startup that wasn’t making any money. The company’s burn rate was reportedly at $500k per month.

The inflated structure and spending is said to have led to the company’s downfall, with claims of false figures being published, approved by top executives including the erstwhile CEO, Prince Boakye Boampong. The uncovering of this alleged impropriety sparked discontent within the company, and ultimately led to Dash’s downfall.