Avo, an Israeli startup that offers a service for delivering groceries, is in danger of closing down its business entirely. The company was just forced to shut down all of its Israel operations, in a move taken on Tuesday that came as a surprise to its local workforce.
Earlier this month Avo was forced to lay off 500 workers, two thirds of its total, 350 of whom are located in Israel. The company points to the Covid crisis as one of the key reasons that it is having trouble.
The news comes only about 8 months after Avo raised $45 million in a Series B funding round led by Insight Partners last September. The company has raised $80 million to date.
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Founded in 2018 by CEO Dekel Valtzer , Idan Hershko, Nir Smadar and Neri Bluman, Avo says that it is defining the future of e-commerce through its “custom, white-labeled online stores for residential and commercial companies and property owners.” The company boasts that residents and employees order same-day delivery of anything from fresh groceries & personal care items to electronics and more.
Dekel Valtzer released an open letter apologizing to his employees Tuesday morning. “I planned to write this post in a more orderly manner but since the media publications also surprised me (in the morning New York hours) and took place even before we finished the painful and torturous process of parting from our dedicated workers in the country, I had to write it as a quick response and not as I had planned,” he explained.
Valtzer referred to “the changes taking place in the market and to the complex reality from which it is impossible, irresponsible and must not be ignored,” saying that this is what forced Avo to decide to close its business activities in Israel while “adjusting the company’s activity in the US to the new situation in the market.