Clearco is shutting down its Irish operations, laying off around 50 staff

31 Aug 2022

Andrew D’Souza and Michele Romanow. Image: Clearco

Months after announcing 125 new jobs in Ireland, Toronto-based fintech Clearco is exiting the market to focus on operations in North America.

Canadian e-commerce financing start-up Clearco is shutting down its business in Ireland, leading to the loss of around 50 jobs.

This comes just months after the Toronto-based fintech announced plans to create 125 new jobs in Ireland in an expansion of its sales and development hub in Dublin. This would have added to its 75 employees in the country at the time.

However, citing unfavourable market conditions, Clearco co-founders Michele Romanow and Andrew D’Souza told staff in a note that it is shuttering operations outside North America, affecting about 60 employees across Ireland, the UK and Australia, The Logic reports.

“This was not a decision we made lightly, but one that became abundantly necessary when evaluating the current market,” the note read.

Clearco, which raised $215m last year in a round led by SoftBank, said it is handing off its clients in Ireland, the UK and Australia to UK-based e-commerce financing platform, Outfund, for which it will receive commissions.

This news does not come out of nowhere for Clearco’s Irish employees. Earlier this month, the Sunday Independent reported that the company told its Irish staff that the future of its operations in the country could be at risk – putting around 50 jobs at stake.

In late July, Clearco told TechCrunch it had laid off 125 people – or about 25pc of its workforce – across its global operations, without specifying where the cuts had been made. Between March and August, the company’s Irish workforce shrank from 75 to around 50.

After announcing the new jobs and expansion plans in Ireland in March, Clearco soon pedalled back on its decision. In May, the Sunday Independent reported that it was cutting around 10pc of its Irish staff instead. In the same month, it expanded into Germany with plans to invest €500m.

Romanow said that Clearco will now shift its focus to its Canadian and US markets “for the time being”, according to The Logic, and that finding a partner for its international clients “that shares our mission” has been its focus.

“It is of course with great regret that we have had to let our international team go as part of this partnership,” she said in the statement.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic