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In Brazil, Grow isn’t growing—it’s retreating and making layoffs

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

ContxtoGrow in Brazil is making a hasty retreat in various parts of the country.

The micromobolity giant will be withdrawing its bright-colored e-scooters from 14 Brazilian cities. As a result, the only parts where they’ll be found are in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Curitiba.

As for its yellow bikes; they’ve been temporarily taken off the streets for technical reasons—repairs (apparently).

And to top it all off, people will be let go. 

In short, the company announced the startup is undergoing some tough restructuring.

Related articles: E-scooter startup Lime retreats in Latam, a warning sign for Grow?

Here are the deets

Grow, the lovechild of Brazilian Yellow and Mexican Grin, was born from a merger between the two almost one year ago. As a result, it was poised to become the largest micromobility player, especially in terms of electric scooters, in the region.

However, things are now looking a little less bright.

It had originally announced that it was removing its e-scooters from the city of Santos last Tuesday. The following day, it added 13 more cities to the list. 

What’s also somewhat odd is how all Yellow bikes have been removed for repairs. It may imply one of three things. 

  1. They really do need some maintenance to continue being used.
  2. They’re just not as good for business and we may not see them for a while.
  3. They want to quietly phase the bikes out altogether.

Moreover, according to Startse, the number of employees that will be let go is around 600 across Latin America. Ouch!  However, the startup didn’t confirm this information.

To lessen the blow, Grow did point out to the media that it’s hired an HR-firm to help these employees find new jobs.

In the end, Grow’s CEO, Jonathan Lewy put it like this upon making the announcement:

“Planning this restructuring has placed us in the face of difficult decisions, however necessary to improve the offer of our services and consolidate our operations in Latin America.”

Not to mention the fact that Grow still has Uber’s e-scooters in Brazil to contend with.

Related article: Grow Mobility scraps Yellow app, combines rentals with Grin and Rappi platforms

I told you so

Earlier this month, San Francisco-based Lime withdrew from various parts of Latin America, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

It made me think it could spell trouble for Grow.

And now, in light of these recent events, it can be seen as the initial warning shot that something was awry in general for micromobility business models in Latam.

Wanna hear more? We recommend you listen to the following podcast episode: Mientras que Grow Mobility tiene problemas, Sofbank reaparece y iFood avanza firme hacia el futuro. You can find the time stamp available in the description.

Do I sound like a jerk if I say I told ya so? Oh well, so be it.

in brazil, grow isn’t growing—it’s retreating and making layoffs

Related articles: Tech and startups in Brazil!

-ML

Mariana López
My topic darlings are startup management, edtech, and all-things pop culture. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

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