Mass redundancies at Jinn as startup struggles to succeed in on-demand delivery market

startup empty office

London-based on-demand delivery startup Jinn has made two rounds of redundancies as it struggles to succeed in the highly competitive on-demand delivery market.

The company, which has so far raised just shy of $20m and announced the closure of a $10m Series B in May, is reportedly looking to pivot and focus solely on its B2B offering as it seeks to compete with other well-funded companies in the space such a Deliveroo, Quiqup and UberEATS.

TechCrunch reports that Jinn ceased operating in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds yesterday. It’s worth noting that when Jinn announced its Series B in May, the company had said it was planning to use the cash to grow and consolidate its position in its main markets.

According to a source close to the company, the firm initially let go of 20 employees in April, (before it announced its round of funding the following month) as part of its preparation to focus solely on the London market.

“Most [of those made redundant] were city managers and sales personnel,” they added.

Additionally, the source explained that the latest and upcoming redundancies were mainly driven by Jinn’s re-focus on B2B.

UKTN spoke to another source, who said Jinn “ had almost closed down entire departments”.

“Sales and business development have been almost shut down and the developers’ department has been reduced by half,” the person said, adding that the company’s workforce of approximately 100 people had possibly shrunk to less than 20.

Tech City News contacted Jinn for comment but no reply had been received by press time.

Mario Navarro, one of Jinn’s three co-founders, told TechCrunch“As we continue our path towards profitability, we have decided to focus our operations in London, where we currently receive over 90% of our orders. With the objective of being profitable before the end of the year, we have temporarily paused our activity in other markets.”

“We will also start offering an integrated B2B solution for our business partners,” he added. “We expect this to be an area of strong growth for our business, as an increasing number of retailers are looking to improve their delivery solution, to compete against large e-commerce websites.”

News of redundancies came to light after a blog post published by Si Pusey, the founder of competing firm FeastHQ, falsely stated that Jinn had stopped taking orders.

Like many firms that make up the so-called gig economy, Jinn recently made headlines after some of its drivers staged a series of protest over their low incomes. Back in February, the Guardian published a piece which said some of Jinn’s takeway delivery drivers claimed to be paid as little as £1.74 an hour.