Today we’re saddened to share the extremely difficult decision to reduce the size of our team, impacting 134 of our colleagues or around 23% of the company across all geographies.
If you are amongst those impacted, we are very sorry, and want you to know that this decision isn’t a reflection of your work. As founders, we hired many of you personally. We brainstormed, dreamt and built this company together over the last few years. In many cases, we became friends, which has made this decision an even harder one to take.
Before we go into further details, we’d like to explain how and why we had to arrive at this decision. The launch of Ula in January 2020 was met with rapid growth, customer love and investor interest spanning across 2020 and 2021. We built an incredible team, which includes all of you, across three countries to drive Ula’s mission of bringing the power of technology to underserved retailers in Indonesia.
Moving out of Covid and into 2022, like many other startups, we were met with a range of challenges including market turbulence, commodity price volatility, supply shortages, regulatory changes and rising crude oil prices. To address these challenges, we did what we could to reduce costs and become more efficient, including making changes to our supply chain, sales effectiveness processes, travel policies and server technology.
Despite this, it became increasingly clear to us that we needed to adapt to the new reality and focus even more sharply on profitability than before. Today’s very difficult decision stems from that need.
Thought process behind the reductions
Moving forward, we will be further streamlining the business’s portfolio of categories and customer base. We will need to build new monetisation capabilities and new higher margin businesses. We are also further simplifying and optimising our supply chain to adapt towards higher quality customers, specifically Indonesia’s underserved retailers. Given that the business will not grow as quickly as we had originally planned, we will delay building or in some cases, scaling up some of our planned technology capabilities.
As a result, 23% of our total workforce will be impacted across all geographies and departments.
Details around departures
As we’ve seen in the last couple of months, around the world and across many different organisations, reductions come at a real, emotional cost, especially for those directly impacted. To take care of our departing colleagues, we have tried to do our best with severance, healthcare, job support, and immigration support.
Some of the support we will provide includes:
○ We will pay a fair severance to all departing colleagues, beyond the legal requirements in their respective countries
○ We’ll do our best to ensure career support, including helping them with their CVs and interview preparation
○ We’ll also leverage the support of Ula’s partner network for job opportunities
○ We’re offering immigration support for visa holders in all geographies
○ Importantly, we’re partnering with licensed services to extend mental health support for impacted employees
We are setting up 1 – 1 conversations with everyone impacted by today’s decision. Once again, we are so sorry and remain thankful that each of you chose Ula’s mission over many other opportunities that may have come your way. We will always be grateful for your hard work and unwavering commitment to our customers.
To the ones staying, we know it is going to be a difficult few days, but we need your support now more than ever. We owe it to our departing colleagues to acknowledge their contribution, make ourselves available to talk to them and to help them in any way we can. To navigate this difficult period, we are also extending mental health support services to you, should you need it.
We will be holding meetings to share more about Ula’s strategy moving forward and to answer any questions you may have over the next few days.
As for the future, we will continue to empower the neighbourhood retailers, so integral to the heart and soul of retail in Indonesia, with technology that will allow them to leapfrog their larger counterparts. Our commitment to Ula’s vision is as strong as ever, and we look forward to taking this journey with you.
Alan, Derry, Nipun and Riky