Russian-backed grocery app Buyk seeks US money as bankruptcy looms

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Russia-backed grocery supply app Buyk, which has been crippled by sanctions, is looking for American backers in an effort to avoid wasting itself from bankruptcy, The Post has realized. 

In a companywide name hours after Buyk abruptly suspended its 15-minute supply service and furloughed 98% of its staff resulting from sanctions on Russia, CEO James Walker laid out three choices: “We find funds, we find a buyer or we have to liquidate.” 

“We’re looking for short-term funding, funding that allows us to get the lights back on,” Walker added, based on a recording of the Saturday video name with 650 employees in New York and Chicago that was obtained by The Post. “I will do everything I can to restart the company.” 

Walker stated he had spoken to executives from competing grocery apps together with Gorillas and Gopuff, as nicely as supply giants Doordash and Grubhub. It was not instantly clear whether or not any of these corporations, a few of which have their very own funding points, would need to bail out Buyk or if different sources of money might materialize. 

James Walker
“I will do everything I can to restart the company,” Buyk CEO James Walker stated.
Courtesy of LinkedIn

“There are people who are very interested in buying the company,” Walker insisted, placing on a courageous face even as he stated furloughed staff ought to apply for unemployment advantages and take into account taking different jobs. 

One Buyk worker instructed The Post that Walker “said all the right things” on the decision however that it appeared like “too little, too late.”  

This coming Friday, Buyk staff are alleged to be paid for the two-week interval main as much as the earlier Friday’s suspension. If Buyk doesn’t safe short-term funds or a purchaser by then, staff will doubtless not be paid on time, Walker stated. If Buyk then goes into bankruptcy, he stated, its property will likely be bought to pay staff the wages they’re due.

Buyk launched in New York final yr as a spin-off of Samokat, a well-liked supply app in Moscow and St. Petersburg that’s partially managed by Sberbank, a Russian state-owned financial institution. Sberbank was among the many Russian banks sanctioned by the US and UK final week in retaliation for Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.

Buyk delivery employee
Buyk launched in 2021 as a spin-off of Samokat, a well-liked Russian supply app.
Noam Galai

Walker instructed The Post on Friday that Buyk’s money troubles had been resulting from “sanctions against Russian banks” which have made making transfers from Russia to the US “untenable.” While speaking to staff, Walker additionally blamed “Putin’s unwillingness to let funds leave the borders of Russia.” 

Samokat and Buyk use a number of the similar expertise and Buyk had logistics and help workers primarily based in Russia. Walker stated on the decision that Buyk’s Russian staff are being “absorbed” by Samokat and that any US relaunch of Buyk wouldn’t embody Russian staff. 

Buyk didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. 

The Post was the primary outlet to report that Buyk was suspending operations on Friday.  

“When that New York Post article came out I think last night,” Walker stated throughout Saturday’s assembly, “my wife was like, ‘Ugh, what a terrible article.’”

“I said, ‘No it’s a great article,’” Walker continued. “And frankly I don’t care what they have to say about me, but it lets people know that Buyk is in trouble and maybe there will be a lifeline out there.” 

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