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Raheem Sterling-backed delivery startup Oja collapses

Oja administration
Image credit: Oja

Oja, the London-based delivery startup backed by Premier League footballer Raheem Sterling, has entered administration amid allegations of unpaid suppliers and staff.

First reported by the Evening Standard, the startup known for providing products catering to African, Caribbean and other underrepresented cultures, released a statement on Monday night revealing it had suspended operations “due to funding constraints”.

“We’re deeply saddened to share the news that Oja stopped operations last month,” the statement read.

“Regrettably, due to funding constraints, we’ve had to make this difficult decision. We believe it is in the best interests of our valued customers, team and committed management.”

The digital supermarket that offered delivery of home comforts from underserved communities raised a pre-seed extension funding round, featuring Chelsea and England forward Sterling as a minority shareholder, just five months ago.

The company was also backed by prominent UK venture capital firm LocalGlobe, which led Oja’s £2.7m investment round in 2021, and Deliveroo co-founder Greg Orlowski.

Prior to administration, the company owed £50,000 across eight legal claims for unpaid money, according to the Evening Standard’s reporting. Former employees of the company have since shared that for months, wages were unpaid, causing stress throughout the workforce.

UKTN has reached out Oja for comment.

Oja said that its final deliveries were completed on 30 July and that any undelivered orders would be refunded over the next 10 working days.