Once touted as the market leader in q-commerce in Pakistan, Airlift is now shutting down operations in the country owing to its inability to raise new money. The company informed employees on Tuesday evening that it would be shutting down its operations in Pakistan on Wednesday.
Sources said investors have advised the firm that it will take at least two months to collect the money.
in an official press release issued just hours after the news broke, Airlift confirmed that it “will shut down permanently. This has been an extremely taxing decision that impacts a large set of stakeholders and an emerging technology ecosystem”.
Response to Global Recession
As of July 2022, Airlift was about three months away from operating profitability (i.e. positive cash flow from operations) and about 6-9 months from company-level profitability. Airlift’s response code included an immediate reduction in headcount and shutting down operations across all expansion markets.
In May, Airlift announced that one of its investors had stepped up to lead the Company’s Series C1 financing. Ultimately, the round was unsuccessful. The Company’s capital requirements would not be met due to rapidly deteriorating conditions in the global economy and their disbursements.
It said it could not risk leaving its employees unpaid or reneging on its commitments due to the Eid holiday in Pakistan.
Severance & Liabilities
In May 2022, Airlift pulled out of certain markets, including Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Pretoria. Airlift will ensure that all of its employees are sufficiently protected and catered for.
Airlift operated a quick commerce service in eight Pakistani cities, including Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad. It raised $85 million in the country’s largest Series B funding round in August at a valuation of $275 million.