Jinn, the U.K.-based same-hour ‘shop on your behalf’ delivery app that operates quite similarly to Postmates in the U.S., has gone through a turbulent time of late. This saw the company withdraw from all markets outside of London last month, as part of several rounds of mass-layoffs. Operations in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds in the U.K., and Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, have been “paused” indefinitely.
The aim, Jinn founder Mario Navarro said at the time, was to continue on a “path towards profitability” by focussing solely on the U.K. capital city, which accounted for 90 per cent of its orders. And now the startup is claiming to have done just that: “Jinn is profitable at an EBITDA level, with 30% contribution margins, and expecting to close the year with $22M in sales,” says the company.
Meanwhile, TechCrunch has learned that Jinn co-founder and COO Leon Herrera departed the startup two months ago and has relocated back to his home country of Spain. In a call, Navarro said he couldn’t comment directly on Herrera’s reasons for leaving, except to say they weren’t work-related and that the two remain on good terms and that Herrera is still a Jinn shareholder and supporter of the startup.
“I can confirm that today we are profitable at an EBITDA level,” Navarro tells me. “And that we will be EBITDA profitable in August and for the coming months”. In other words — contrary to a lot of speculation — there is life in Jinn yet.
He also says the startup has managed to automate the entire platform, meaning that it is able to handle both partner orders and non-partner orders is a much less labour intensive fashion in terms of how those orders are processed, which in turn has helped to bring down costs. The startup is also disclosing that headcount sits at a very lean 20 staff members, down from a reported high of around 100, though Herrera wouldn’t confirm that figure.
In May this year, the company announced that it had raised $10 million in further funding, capital it planned to use to continue to grow and “consolidate its presence in its main markets”. However, as I’ve noted before, it is far from clear if Jinn’s latest round was based on tranches or contingent on certain milestones or KPIs being met. In other words, it is unlikely Jinn has burned through that cash or that it all entered the company’s balance sheet in the first place. Navarro declined to comment.
“Jinn is now running a lean and efficient operation with 20 people, and has returned to its true start up roots: empowering employees to get involved in all areas of the business, innovating every day to solve problems and most importantly, getting ready for the challenge of growing the business sustainably,” says the company in a statement.
Jinn says it currently has 1,000 monthly active couriers on the platform, 1,000 partners and over 100,000 customers. It expects to double its current monthly completed orders in the next four months.
Adds Navarro in a statement: “The departure of some of our amazing employees and close friends has been the most painful part of this decision. Working alongside them has been a privilege and we can’t be thankful enough for all the effort and the commitment they’ve put into the company. We’ve been completely humbled by their understanding of the situation and their willingness to continue supporting Jinn in any way possible. If you’re looking for amazing talent, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org”.