A fast-delivery grocery store operating in New York has closed, laying off the majority of its employees after Russian sanctions cut off the company’s source of funding.
Buyk is one of about half a dozen start-ups to emerge in the city’s fast-growing business. They promise delivery of essential grocery items in 15 minutes or less.
Sanctions imposed on Russia cut off the company from its main investors and forced the firing of 98% of its staff.
Without his delivery team, Buyk suspended operations.
Two furloughed employees spoke to NBC New York on condition of anonymity.
“The company made it very clear that we would be taken care of, we would be paid in full,” said one of the employees. “If we had benefits, we could claim them until the end of the month until things start to fall into place and they can start hiring us back.”
In a statement, Buyk’s CEO called the shutdown “temporary” and said the service would be back up and running as soon as it can “secure funding from US sources.”
“To date, our assets still greatly exceed our liabilities, and we remain confident that Buyk’s proven super-fast grocery model can make real-time retail a reality in the United States,” said the CEO James Walker in a statement.