Russian grocery delivery app Buyk filed for bankruptcy and is shutting down after sanctions against Russia restricted access to its funding, the company announced on Thursday.
Buyk halted its operations effective March 4 at its 39 locations and plans to sell the remainder of its inventory after launching in New York last year and expanding to Chicago at the start of 2022. The company had raised $46 million in funding, according to Crunchbase, and listed assets and liabilities of as high as $10 million each in its bankruptcy petition filed Thursday, according to Bloomberg.
"We have diligently explored all possible options and partnerships to restructure Buyk and keep the business going, however, the war in Ukraine and subsequent restrictions in funding have unfortunately made it impossible to continue operations,” Buyk CEO James Walker said in a statement.
Buyk is a subsidiary of Samokat, one of Russia’s most popular grocery-delivery services. Russian state-controlled bank Sberbank owns a partial stake in Samokat. U.S. placed numerous Russian financial institutions on a sanctions list, which included Sberbank, in late February, cutting off Buyk's access to its funding.
Bloomberg reported that the company had explored a sale as a way to secure capital, and that it arranged a $6.5 million loan to cover costs of the bankruptcy. Around $5 million of the loan will go to paying employees and grocery couriers. Buyk had reportedly already furloughed 900 of its employees — representing 98% of its workforce — in early March.
"I am extremely proud of the entire Buyk team for their amazing achievements since we launched the business last year," Walker said in a statement. "These are truly some of the most talented and dedicated people I have had the pleasure to work with in my career and I wish them much success in the future.”