Getir to Slash 10% of Global Workforce as Fast Delivery Stumbles

Turkish startup Getir will cut more than 10% of its global workforce as the rapid delivery service struggles with losses in most markets in which it operates.

(Bloomberg) — Turkish startup Getir will cut more than 10% of its global workforce as the rapid delivery service struggles with losses in most markets in which it operates. 

About 2,500 employees will be cut overall, while the company will continue to operate in Turkey, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and the US, Istanbul-based Getir said in a statement to Bloomberg on Tuesday. 

Across the industry, companies that promised ultra-fast delivery of everything from perishables to birth control are cutting costs and consolidating as investors who poured money into the sector during the Covid-19 pandemic demand a clear path to profitability. 

The dismissals at Getir, which in March 2022 raised money at a $11.8 billion valuation, come after the company shut its French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish divisions earlier this year.

Many units still struggled after the company exited those markets. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Nazim Salur told employees at an all-hands meeting in July that Getir’s only profitable unit is its home market of Turkey, according to two people who were on the call.

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co., a major investor in Getir, has pledged continued support. 

“We are currently in advanced discussions with Getir to lead their latest funding round and we continue to work closely with Getir in support of its growth in the years ahead,” Mubadala said in a statement to Bloomberg. 

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The company’s European business is teetering less than a year after it acquired Gorillas GmbH, a competitor with a strong presence in Germany and the UK that had boomed during the pandemic.  

This article is based on accounts by more than half a dozen current and former Getir employees, ranging from managers and supervisors to warehouse workers, all of whom asked not to be identified because the information is not public.

In one example of dysfunction, shelves intended for fresh produce at Getir’s Berlin dark stores — small, centrally-located warehouses that help fill orders quickly — sat empty at the end of July, as the cash-strapped company struggled to pay its suppliers and orders slowed below the typical summer lull.

Getir was months late paying suppliers, resulting in numerous perishable goods being unavailable in the German capital on its app, according to some of the people. 

Read More: Gorillas Facing Valuation, Staff Cuts as Part of Getir Deal

A Getir spokesperson declined to comment beyond its statement on its restructuring. Some details of the latest dismissals were reported by the Insider on Monday, citing unidentified people familiar.

German employees expect to bear the brunt of the job cuts as the company seeks to sublet space at the trendy office in a former brewery that it inherited from Gorillas, according to some of the people. 

Its German operation has already reduced hours for warehouse staff and riders. In a WhatsApp message this month to workers at a warehouse in Berlin’s Friedrichshain district that was seen by Bloomberg, a manager said the business was receiving less than half of the typical number of orders over the last several weeks, resulting in fewer shifts. 

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Getir’s valuation was slashed earlier this year to $6.5 billion in a down round led by Mubadala that raised about $500 million, Insider reported in April, citing unidentified people familiar with the deal. 

Quick commerce companies attracted nearly $10 billion of venture capital in 2021, according to PitchBook Data Inc., as pandemic-era lockdowns and cheap funding contributed to sky-high valuations. 

The industry, along with restaurant delivery apps like Deliveroo Plc and Delivery Hero SE, has since been forced to focus on cost-cutting and profitability as rising inflation and economic uncertainty hobbled investment. 

Getir’s struggles in Europe mirror those of Gorillas, which it bought for $1.2 billion last December. That was less than half the valuation it reached after a funding round in 2021, and the startup was forced to shed jobs and cut costs in an attempt to reduce its cash burn before it was sold. 

–With assistance from Gillian Tan.

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