Flutterwave’s scandal has not only affected their company but also all those that utilized their services. It has raised important questions regarding culture, ethics, and leadership at this fintech unicorn.
Flutterwave, one of Africa’s premier fintech unicorns, has its fair share of secrets to conceal. Recently, one of Flutterwave’s former employees posted an explosive Medium post against CEO Robert Kwong accusing him of harassing her and other employees at Flutterwave.
Allegations against Olugbenga Agboola and his company range from fraud, to insider trading, and sexual harassment. Former employees made several of these serious accusations via Medium posts and Twitter tweets.
These allegations could seriously undermine the reputation of this high-growth fintech startup. We have spoken with former employees who say her accusations reflect ongoing issues at the company.
Flutterwave’s leadership and culture have come under significant scrutiny following an explosive article written by former employee Clara Wanjiku Odero on Medium. She accused CEO Olugbenga Agboola of harassment as well as neglectful behavior at Flutterwave.
Flutterwave was Nigeria’s fintech unicorn until scandals broke out and investigations were initiated into their operations. From being a payments disruptor in Africa to now being subject to multiple investigations by authorities.
Recent controversy regarding this company centers around its CEO, Olugbenga Agboola. Former employees have provided accounts of harassment and inappropriate behaviors displayed by him.
Founder and CEO Olugbenga Agboola
Flutterwave, founded in 2016, is one of Africa’s most well-known fintech startups that provides payment solutions to small businesses and merchants across Africa. Valued at $3 billion and boasting more than 150,000 users, Flutterwave is often at the center of controversy regarding allegations regarding dubious business and personal practices by Olugbenga Agboola (founder and CEO), though these claims have since been refuted by his leadership team and company management. These allegations, though rebutted, can still have the power to diminish its standing among its audience – taking some shine off this much-loved startup!
Even with its high valuation, this firm has experienced difficulty recruiting employees. Their culture has caused great unease within the workplace environment and, following allegations of workplace misconduct in 2022, its image suffered considerably. Furthermore, legal issues could potentially prevent it from going public in the future.
But his pristine reputation was recently rocked by troubling controversies. Allegations from former staff involving sexual harassment claims and fraud allegations have left his once-pristine image stained by unsettling controversy. Kenya also recently froze all local accounts due to money laundering suspicions, further embroiling it in scandal.
Flutterwave’s founder and CEO have been accused of serious allegations that threaten to derail its expansion as a global payment powerhouse, potentially harming its brand in Africa’s vibrant startup scene.
Former employees told Rest of World in several messages that Flutterwave’s workplace culture began to decline dramatically in 2017 with the arrival of Ifeoluwa Orioke as its chief financial officer – known internally as “GB.” Employees claim GB used his position and resources to pursue sexual relationships with female staff members under him while making threats to “chop cane” several members, including its CEO. He eventually left Flutterwave in 2022 without providing a comment.
This scandal involved allegations against Credrails’ CEO that they engaged in insider trading, fraud, and sexual harassment – allegations first surfaced after Clara Wanjiku Odero published a Medium post and series of tweets accusing Credrails of bullying her as an employee and now as Credrails CEO.
Odero wrote in her post that her colleagues were fearful to speak out against the company’s toxic culture and CEO’s misbehavior, accusing him of sexism, retaliation against women, bullying, controlling bullying, and “controlling bully”. Additionally, in her article, she detailed the physical and emotional abuse she suffered as a senior developer at this company.
After the scandal surfaced, the company made promises to alter its culture and increase transparency, including creating a new board of directors with prominent tech figures like Iyinoluwa Orioke and Simon Ngige as members. Furthermore, management pledged to investigate any allegations and will examine their hiring process.
Agboola, an MBA graduate of MIT who has extensive experience building fintech products with digital firms and banks, established Flutterwave to address market gaps in African payments. Their single-use mobile app enables developers and merchants to accept mobile money payments from any wallet anywhere worldwide.
Value creation at this company has been propelled by its rapid adoption in the region. Since launching, they have reached over 15 nations and their product has been accepted by major mobile networks such as Safaricom in Kenya.
Tiger Global and Greycroft are among the investors backing this startup, while its CEO is known for being an active angel investor and early-stage venture capitalist in African tech startups – holding stakes in over 25 startups with stakes being listed as either Quartz Africa 2019 innovators or TIME’s 2021 list of African tech leaders.
Flutterwave, one of Africa’s premier fintech start-ups, is embroiled in an unprecedented scandal that has sent shockwaves through the tech industry. Moreover, Flutterwave stands accused by former employees of fraud, money laundering, harassment, and sexual misconduct; Visa has even decided not to participate in their planned Series B funding round due to these claims – prompting former staff members to use social media as a platform to vent.
According to West Africa Weekly reports, Flutterwave founder and CEO Olugbenga Agboola engaged in questionable business practices at his company. Allegedly, Agboola used an anonymous co-founder as cover to purchase shares early on at below-market valuation prices; additionally, he gave new hires stock options at market valuation prices at reduced costs; proceeds from sales went into an investment vehicle controlled by Agboola himself.
As well as their dubious business dealings, the CEO is accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior with female staff members. Furthermore, former employee Jennifer Ezenagu has filed a lawsuit alleging GB harassed her by sending unwanted texts and making unwanted advances; also, it’s said she was fired due to refusing to participate in sexually explicit videos.
The lawsuit seeks damages and an apology from the company as well as forcing their CEO to step down. What impact the suit will have on operations remains to be seen.
Flutterwave released a statement disputing all allegations made against their company, noting that most were false or repeated problems that they had already addressed in the past. Furthermore, according to their spokesman, Flutterwave adheres to stringent HR regulations which change frequently.
Rest of World spoke to 12 former employees of an African start-up company and most requested anonymity when discussing its culture and work environment. Employees described a toxic work culture with unruly working hours and entitlement issues within. Such allegations could discourage investors from investing in African startups – when Nigeria sneezes, so might its tech ecosystem catch an illness.
Allegations are based on events that have led many employees to question the startup’s practices and cultural norms, here are just a few:
Fraud and Perjury
Flutterwave, widely believed to be Africa’s first unicorn fintech startup, has recently come under scrutiny due to an explosive accusation by former employee Clara Wanjiku Odero against CEO Olugbenga Agboola of bullying her during her time there. However, the company remained mute as Wanjiku Odero issued her account–an unusual response for such an influential company trying to build global recognition.
But soon after the silence was broken by investigative journalist David Hundeyin who published a lengthy report on the Substack news website alleging possible fraud and mismanagement at Flutterwave. His claims included fraud, perjury, and insider trading from its founders – something which quickly went viral via Twitter Spaces and podcast clubhouse. Hundeyin even hosted an audio session on Twitter where he discussed his investigation as well as allegations made in his report.
Flutterwave CEO John McCleary didn’t directly respond to accusations against him in an email to employees, but in general dismissed all allegations of financial impropriety, conflict of interest, sexual harassment, and inappropriate behaviors by saying these claims are false.
However, McCleary didn’t address specific claims of him creating Greg as a fake co-founder/CTO identity to gain more shares for himself early on and also didn’t address allegations against the company that its investors knew it had committed fraudulent activities against certain of their clients.
Flutterwave also faces allegations in Kenya where state regulatory agency ARA has frozen 52 bank accounts holding over $45 million belonging to Boxtrip Travel and Tours, Boxtrip International, Elivalat Fintech, Hupesi Solutions and Cruz Ride Auto; alleging these entities used Flutterwave as a money launderer.
These allegations have called into question the reputation of one of Africa’s most celebrated tech startups and raised questions regarding ethics, security measures, and corporate governance.
Flutterwave has recently come under scrutiny by former employees for being accused of fraud and money laundering, and these accusations could damage both its reputation and investor trust.
In 2022, Flutterwave Fintech was accused of handling transactions for 86 Football Technology, a Nigerian betting firm that turned out to be a massive Ponzi scheme. Millions were moved in through Flutterwave’s platform from abroad through multiple shell companies that disregarded bank alerts regarding suspicious activities; fake invoices, bank accounts, and documentation were used to move money around quickly.
Flutterwave has denied these accusations; however, former employees claim the company betrayed their trust and misappropriated their hard-earned salaries. Furthermore, these employees have reported sexual harassment by managers as well as improper relationships among staff members.
Former employees have also reported that the company failed to fulfill its promise of employee stock options (ESOPs), which are an increasingly common way for startups to recruit talent in Nigeria. Former employees told Rest of World that this particular ESOP had not been distributed equally for all departing employees before 2020.
Flutterwave has suffered greatly as a result of recent scandals surrounding its efforts to expand into Africa and become one of the region’s premier payment platforms. They expanded rapidly without providing sufficient controls and compliance procedures; as a result, investors pulled out and their reputation suffered greatly; yet despite these setbacks, Flutterwave vowed to improve governance and transparency going forward, in an attempt to restore investor trust and rebuild its brand image in Africa.
Investigative journalist David Hundeyin first raised public awareness of the Flutterwave scandal through an expose published by him, detailing allegations of fraud, mismanagement, and sexual harassment at this fintech unicorn. Furthermore, Hundeyin contends that investors were aware of these problems but continued funding it nonetheless.
Hundeyin made allegations against Olugbenga Agboola “GB”, alleging he used his position at Flutterwave to further his personal and family interests, such as stealing sensitive information, misusing funds, violating laws, and forcing employees to sell shares below market value – practices considered insider trading under US law.
Allegedly, GB had an illicit partnership with Access Bank – one of Nigeria’s largest banks – revealed in screenshots obtained through painstaking efforts from both companies. Reportedly using his contacts at Access Bank to assist Flutterwave gain deals while concealing this fact from investors and the wider industry, this information was then kept from investors and the wider industry.
GB was also accused of abusing his position at the company to pursue inappropriate relationships with female staff members, using it as leverage against women who reported him for unethical behavior – even after Odero had left as CEO in 2022. This alleged behavior continued even after Odero had been replaced as leader.
GB denied all allegations in a letter sent out to all corners of the globe, saying that Aboyeji’s explanation of SEC involvement (to identify which investors weren’t accredited under US laws). Furthermore, GB denied allegations that he offered stock options at less than their actual value to his employees while simultaneously holding all shares personally in Flutterwave’s company – adding that he planned on visiting all offices across Africa to discuss issues directly with staff members.
As soon as the Flutterwave scandal broke, people began discussing its serious allegations, such as money laundering and other serious offenses that could harm the public. It was an irreparable setback for Flutterwave that left consumers concerned for their data, money, and security; government agencies worldwide scrutinized Flutterwave’s compliance measures; this incident triggered discussions regarding why fintech firms must prioritize compliance to prevent unethical behavior or potentially illegal activities using their platforms.
Olugbenga Agboola, cofounder, majority shareholder, and CEO of Flutterwave is currently under investigation by various authorities for fraud, insider trading, and other serious offenses. Allegedly he created an impostor cofounder identity to increase shares before cashing out at prices far below company valuation before funding rounds. Former employees also claim he failed to disclose his relationship with Access Bank while working on this fintech fintech company.
While the Flutterwave scandal is ongoing, its effects have already caused considerable harm to its startup’s reputation and caused many investors to withdraw support for further investments in it. Furthermore, its fallout could affect company growth and its ability to raise more funds; currently in the process of raising a Series E funding round and now that investors have been deterred by this mishap it remains unknown how long this will take; Flutterwave must work hard to win back customer and investor trust to emerge unscathed from this catastrophe.
Mishandling of Funds
The Flutterwave scandal has exposed various instances of mishandling funds including personal accounts and investment funds. Therefore, it is vital to implement strong security systems and closely monitor transactions for any suspicious activity to detect financial fraud and protect yourself against losing your money or having it taken by criminals.
Olugbenga Agboola, CEO of Flutterwave, has denied allegations made in a report by West Africa Weekly which accused him of engaging in fraud, sexual harassment, and insider trading among other claims. Former employees have lodged numerous complaints with Flutterwave about how it treated them at work – such as Clara Wanjiku Odero’s claim that their data was mishandled and she had to work long hours without compensation from Flutterwave.
One employee, who preferred anonymity, complained of low pay below market rate and frequent abuse of authority during disciplinary actions by his company. Furthermore, they alleged that its pledge to distribute ESOPs as promised never materialized.
Flutterwave caught the attention of Kenya’s Asset Recovery Agency (ARA). According to court documents uncovered by Rest of World, ARA officials found evidence of suspicious bank account operations at Flutterwave; funds received from specific foreign entities were instead being channeled through related accounts as opposed to merchant accounts as intended.
Flutterwave was forced to freeze a total of Sh6.6 B in its accounts as a result of this, with political motivations and unfair targeting of Nigerian companies being presented as reasons. Flutterwave stood firm behind its licensing processes while noting audits conducted by major accounting firms that did not uncover any financial irregularities.
Now is the time for the government to take an aggressive stance against any form of financial crime and ensure all players play on an even playing field. Failure to do this would erode investor trust, leading to a further slowdown of economic activity.
Flutterwave has become embroiled in an embarrassing scandal that threatens its future as an industry disruptor. Extended media coverage exposed allegations of sexual misconduct against senior management as well as their lack of transparency regarding business practices and compliance standards; many fearing this could set a dangerous precedent for other fintech firms operating in Nigeria.
Flutterwave was rocked by controversy after former employee Clara Wanjiku Odero made allegations against CEO Olugbenga Agboola of bullying and exploitation, later supported by West Africa Weekly journalist David Hundeyin on Medium. Allegations ranged from insider trading, fraud, and mishandling of funds; allegations led Visa, which was set to lead its series B funding round, to withdraw its participation; however, the startup later denied these claims, and its reputation suffered greatly as a result of all this bad press.
Allegations of money laundering also surfaced, as the Kenyan high court froze 62 bank accounts belonging to Flutterwave and its affiliates that were being used for illegal activities, according to an Anti-Racket Agency complaint from August 2014. Boxtrip Travel and Tours, Bagtrip Travels, AdGuru Technology Hupesi Solutions Cruz Ride Auto as well as Simon Ngige were listed among those receiving funds through these accounts.
A representative from the company has responded to allegations against it by alleging it is being subjected to an orchestrated disinformation campaign and that all claims made are false. He claims they have records to demonstrate its innocence; the Rest of the World has reached out but has yet to receive an answer in response.
Flutterwave’s scandal has shaken investors and employees’ faith in its founders. Yet despite these setbacks, its leaders remain determined to build an even larger business despite any ripple effects the controversy may have on its growth or future as an industry leader in Africa.
Conflict of Interest
Conflict of interests refers to any circumstance in which the interests of one person or organization may adversely impact those of another, whether financial, ethical, or moral. They can even interfere with moral judgment and can have serious legal ramifications.
The Flutterwave scandal serves as a stark reminder of the need for greater compliance and open business practices within the fintech industry. Furthermore, this case emphasizes the necessity of keeping the financial system free of fraud and money laundering, potentially impacting both company reputation and investor funds alike.
Nigeria’s tech ecosystem is tight-knit and reports of Flutterwave’s purported mismanagement have spread quickly within the industry. Some startups fear that should the allegations prove true, Flutterwave may not be able to raise a Series E round which could bring it closer to unicorn status; others worry about doomsday scenarios in which an acquisition deal they are currently in negotiations may fall through as a result of all this mismanagement.
According to West Africa Weekly Editor David Hundeyin, Olugbenga Agboola, CEO of Fintech Company Ogortufu FinTech has been accused of insider trading, sexual harassment, and using an escrow account at his fintech to steal assets from employees. It remains unknown if these allegations are accurate.
On April 4th, Clara Wanjiku Odero, former Flutterwave employee and current CEO of Credrails, published a Medium post and tweets alleging bullying by the company and its CEO as well as failing to treat employees fairly in terms of employee stock options (ESOPs) programs that have become popular incentives among fintech firms in Nigeria.
Former Employee Clara Wanjiku Odero
Clara Wanjiku Odero made sensational claims against former Flutterwave CEO Dan Stackhouse that she harassed her, although no official response has been issued by Flutterwave or their denials have been offered by either party involved.
Odero was responsible for overseeing Flutterwave’s expansion into East Africa from 2018 until her departure, where she alleges Agboola bullied and made unwanted sexual advances towards her. Furthermore, Odero reported having to fight to receive payment when leaving Flutterwave.
Allegations surrounding these incidents were serious enough for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to initiate an investigation, interviewing various staff who witnessed these incidents. Former employees have told Rest of World that GB’s behavior was unacceptable but felt powerless to report him due to fear of retaliation or losing employment.
Numerous other allegations against the fintech titan have surfaced, including lack of transparency in financial decisions and mishandling of sensitive personal data. Allegedly, hundreds of millions have been laundered through its platform without detection by company investigators of suspicious transactions and accounts.
Flutterwave could face lasting repercussions from these accusations, which threaten its reputation, investor trust, and ability to expand into new markets. While it remains unknown whether these claims are accurate, if they were, their rapid expansion and partnerships with major names should have been an early warning signal. It will be interesting to watch how this scandal develops over time and what impact it has on Africa’s tech ecosystem – no doubt leaving many with an unpleasant taste in their mouths.
Clara Odero’s Allegations
Clara Wanjiku Odero, former employee at Flutterwave who now leads Credrails, published a Medium post alleging bullying and mistreatment at the fintech company by Olugbenga Agboola (CEO/Co-Founder). Her claims focused on his behavior towards employees within Flutterwave.
Odero claims that her relationship with Flutterwave was productive until she decided to leave in 2018. Once she made this decision, however, the management began harassing and bullying her; one instance was when they sent an e-mail from their CEO asking them to “look into” her case. Additionally, Odero stated that Flutterwave did not pay her all of her employee stock options (ESOPs), a common form of compensation among startups in Nigeria.
TechCrunch reported on allegations involving suspicious transactions where founders moved funds directly to their own accounts and administrative errors which were discovered by the Assets Recovery Agency, who froze over $52.5 million of Flutterwave-linked bank accounts according to TechCrunch and caused Visa, who was originally scheduled to lead its Series B investment round, to withdraw. Former employees have pointed to this incident as proof.
David Hundeyin, a Nigerian investigative journalist, published articles accusing the founders of fraud and money laundering. However, GB refuted these allegations in a public statement and insisted his companies complied with local laws.
Flutterwave has been embroiled in several controversies that have compromised both its reputation and business operations. In response, it announced it is looking for new investors to fund its growth plans while suspending payments to some vendors in Kenya and India. While its future is still unknown until more facts surface regarding allegations leveled against it, its leaders must act swiftly in response to these claims before their reputation takes another hit and leadership becomes corrupted; otherwise, this will have disastrous repercussions for fintech in Africa as well as Flutterwave itself.
Odero’s allegations have opened many avenues of investigation, prompting many other former employees to come forward with accounts of questionable practices at Flutterwave. Furthermore, Rest of World spoke with twelve more former employees who verified Odero’s claims in her article.
One of the key accusations against Flutterwave is that it was used to launder money, with hundreds of millions being transferred through shell companies and M-Pesa accounts in Kenya to avoid detection by banking regulators and law enforcement agencies. Money laundering may lead to criminal charges being leveled against both Flutterwave and its founders.
Business partners and financial watchdogs have responded harshly to the accusations leveled against fintech companies, raising questions over its security and transparency as well as the potential misuse of technology by criminals for illicit purposes. Furthermore, it comes at a time when fintech companies are becoming increasingly responsible for combatting money laundering, prompting new legislation that holds businesses accountable.
As soon as allegations against Flutterwave were raised, an email was sent out by its spokesperson denouncing these claims and rejecting most as false or repeating issues that the company had already addressed. Furthermore, allegations surfaced alleging that the CEO had created an imaginary co-founder to gain more shares.
Due to this scandal, Visa withdrew its investment and postponed Flutterwave’s Series B funding round by one year. Now the company is formulating an alternative investment strategy and plans for an initial public offering (IPO). As this controversy persists, other investors will likely remain wary about investing in the Flutterwave payments firm.
Other Former Employees
As a result of Odero’s allegations, several former Flutterwave employees have come forward with similar accusations against its leadership and CEO Olugbenga Agboola. Their accusations range from inappropriate sexual relationships between senior managers and staff, misappropriation of funds for personal gain, failing to pay departing employees their stock options on time as promised, as well as basic administrative errors with company documentation. Flutterwave has denied these claims but remains uncertain of their truth.
Jennifer Nduka was among several former employees who allege they were sexually harassed by Agboola and others at the company, leading her to leave after criticizing his management style and behavior as product manager. Nduka claims she wasn’t paid her full salary after leaving either.
She claims that sexual harassment and sexism were widespread at her company and was told her complaints regarding this conduct weren’t a priority.
Irene Wambui alleges she was subject to harassment by Orioke, the COO and founder of her former company. According to her account, Orioke often threatened staff members with physical violence when confronted about this behavior and refused to address her complaints when approached about this matter directly.
She further alleges that Orioke and other senior members of his team abused company funds by misappropriating them for personal expenses like hotel stays or purchasing food without providing necessary receipts to the accounting department. Furthermore, she alleges that basic administrative errors with company documents led to legal problems for some former employees.
Regardless of these allegations, the company remains steadfast in its goal to go public. Recently, they secured payment service provider and facilitation licenses in Egypt and South Africa along with an IMTO permit in Nigeria; and have expanded their presence within Africa with an office opening in Kenya.
Though allegations against them may be serious, the company remains committed to growing and developing an exceptional product. Already raising over $250 million in funding makes it one of Africa’s fastest-growing fintechs.
Flutterwave has been at the center of Nigerian tech since 2020. Rumors about company founder and CEO Olugbenga Agboola’s personal and professional practices had been simmering, seemingly hinting toward an imminent scandal. First came “Eko Minaj,” who threatened some Flutterwave executives in harassment claims; later this year there were allegations of insider trading which caused Visa to pull out from a series B investment round.
Kenya was an especially painful blow for the fintech unicorn, as its Asset Recovery Authority (ARA) froze assets associated with them and accused the firm of processing fraudulent transactions on behalf of merchants with questionable dealings. These allegations could damage both brand equity and investor trust; yet, it denies any involvement in illegal activities.
The recent controversy involves sports betting platform 86 Football Technology Ltd which utilized the Flutterwave payments processing platform as part of an alleged scam run by individuals who are now suing the Flutterwave payment-processing startup for millions in damages.
One of the allegations involves 86FB receiving a $2.5 million payment from SF Consulting, owned by Rakesh Wadhawan’s family and funded from his private equity fund – suggesting there could be some corrupt activities going on here.
An alleged fraud was discovered when investors from the US, Canada, and South Africa applied with ARA to separate their shares from those of Flutterwave. They claimed SF Consulting and several other investors illegally received funds through Flutterwave’s betting platform; however, after reviewing all evidence presented against SF Consulting by Flutterwave shareholders the court dismissed their case without issuing a forfeiture order, thus permitting investors to retain their positions on this betting platform.
As well as financial impropriety allegations, allegations of harassment and misconduct among staff at Agboola have also surfaced since 2020. Rumors began swirling in 2020 about sexual harassment claims as well as allegations that some female employees had been mistreated, prompting former employees to try selling off their stock options at discounted rates – these sales went to venture capital firm controlled by Agboola according to reports published by Rest of World.
Fintech company Bitpay was dealt a serious setback this month by allegations surrounding its financial data storage platform, and will likely take time to recover from these scandals. Though Bitpay secured $250 million at an impressive valuation of $3 billion earlier this year, these allegations may alter the plans and growth strategies of its business.
Flutter Wave’s Response
Flutterwave, one of Africa’s most valuable startups led by CEO Olugbenga Agboola, has come under scrutiny for various dubious business practices. A story published on West Africa Weekly by Nigerian journalist David Hundeyin detailed multiple allegations against Flutterwave and Agboola ranging from fraud and insider trading to sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.
Flutterwave was accused of overlooking alerts regarding suspicious merchants using its platform, according to allegations in court papers filed earlier this year. Flutterwave denies having had any involvement with illegal transactions and has changed its operations accordingly.
However, both employees and customers remain skeptical of the company’s security and transparency. Already the company has lost several major clients including Visa due to inattention paid to suspicious transaction patterns and loose employee oversight policies that may have contributed to this scandal.
Agboola sent an email to Flutterwave staff addressing allegations made against him. He contended that most were repetitive or old issues and some false accusations, and claimed he had personally addressed most.
Former employees have spoken out against Visa, alleging harassment and predatory behaviors by senior management. Visa’s tone-deaf response to these claims drew further scrutiny, prompting more media coverage that resulted in Visa withdrawing from an investment round planned at this time.
Clara Wanjiku Odero, a former Flutterwave employee, posted to Medium in which she claimed that the leadership at Flutterwave had mistreated and harassed her in numerous ways, including belittling, lying about, harassing, and sexually harassing her – to such an extent that she felt forced out from working at Flutterwave altogether. She further alleges she experienced sexual harassment before having been expelled.
Odero has recently begun working at Credrails and is seeking damages related to her experiences with Flutterwave and her former employer Visa, both companies under which she had worked before being fired by Credrails. Additionally, she filed a formal police complaint. The story surrounding Flutterwave’s scandal has sent shockwaves through Africa’s tech community as it raises serious concerns over its leadership as well as integrity issues within the company; yet despite these scandals, it continues to enjoy high valuation and is anticipated to expand exponentially in the future.
The Flutterwave scandal has had serious repercussions for both its fintech company and the tech ecosystem at large, as it has affected investors, employees, and users who trusted its platform. Allegations range from financial impropriety and harassment to misconduct claims.
Clara Wanjiku Odero, former head of implementation for Flutterwave, published an article on Medium accusing them of bullying her and not paying her salary until months after leaving their employ. This caused a great deal of uproar and raised many ethical issues regarding Flutterwave’s practices.
Many other former Flutterwave employees have gone public to express their experiences. Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, one of Flutterwave’s co-founders and creator of talent outsourcing firm Andela. She claims she was sexually harassed by both the CEO and other senior management members and ultimately fired for raising ethical concerns within Flutterwave.
Aboyeji has been highly critical of Flutterwave’s handling of the scandal, particularly its response to allegations made by West Africa Weekly and Substack. She says their delay in responding shows their lack of transparency; additionally, their statements made are unclear and have not addressed all issues raised by West Africa Weekly and Substack.
Money laundering through the company platform has also been raised as an issue. According to reports, hundreds of millions were laundered through it without being reported suspicious activity to authorities; shell companies were used for this activity along with disguising identities; bank alerts regarding questionable transactions were ignored as well.
Since then, the company has denied all allegations of fraud and mismanagement, issuing a statement that expressed alarm at unsubstantiated allegations and claimed they received court orders to freeze more than 12 accounts with three banks, holding over 43 Million dollars, sterling pounds, euros, and Kenyan shillings in total.
Flutterwave should have implemented rigorous controls and compliance procedures to avoid a data breach of this magnitude. Unfortunately, they failed to do so, leading to an embarrassing crisis that damaged their reputation as a trustworthy financial company in Africa and an accumulation of communications debt due to not responding promptly and openly.
Clara Odero made the most damaging accusations of all, alleging that CEO GB Agboola made unwanted sexual advances and harassed female employees. Furthermore, she claimed he took advantage of the company’s equity structure by creating an imaginary co-founder known as Greg to gain more shares for himself.
Flutterwave responded to these allegations by citing them as being recycled and previously addressed claims, and asserting that they take all complaints seriously and conduct a comprehensive review process – something which they were correct in noting, yet they should have gone further in providing details about this investigation as well as ways they would address these issues in their response.
Flutterwave has also been accused of fraud and money laundering by Kenyan courts, and several bank accounts and M-Pesa pay bill numbers belonging to its subsidiary companies and affiliates were frozen as an administrative agency accused the fintech firm of acting as a conduit for money laundering and card fraud.
Flutterwave has yet to confirm the existence of an investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, though their founders were aware of a report in Substack about an ethical probe conducted by the SEC on them in 2018. Journalist David Hundeyin published in West Africa Weekly published on April 4, 2019, however, and publicly challenged this claim.
Flutterwave remains profitable despite these setbacks and has an engaged investor base, evidenced by its most recent round of funding led by B Capital Group. Furthermore, investors like Tiger Global, Glynn Capital, Avenir Growth, and other global firms have already increased their support of Flutterwave; existing investors have even extended more support towards it.
#itempropheadlineAll #Flutterwave #Scandalh2