Flutterwave CEO Finally Addresses Alleged Misconduct Claims In Email To Employees
I’m sure you have all heard about the wave of allegations knocking on Flutterwave’s CEO’s door – from financial impropriety, conflict of interest, and sexual harassment. And while he’s been silent for the last few weeks he has finally spoken out in an email sent to his employees addressing the claims.
“I’m writing today because I want you to know how concerned I am about the impact that reading the false allegations against our company has had on you all,” he wrote, according to an email obtained by TechCrunch.
It continued, saying: “The fact that the allegations of financial impropriety, conflict of interest, and sexual harassment have been proved false or have already been reported, investigated, and addressed by management matters less to me than the reality that these claims may have shaken your confidence in the company. As founder and CEO, it is my responsibility to address the concerns you may have, and this will be a priority for me moving forward.”
The comments made by the chief executive come just several days after a report by West African Weekly, a Substack newsletter written by journalist David Hundeyin, revealed several allegations against the startup and Agboola ranging from fraud and perjury to insider trading and sexual harassment.
POCIT reached out for a comment but has since not received a response.
Away from this – three days ago, TechCabal, a publication focused on African tech, in an interview with ex-CEO Iyinoluwa Aboyeji said it received a statement from Flutterwave’s management that read: “the blog post in question is based on recycled and previously addressed claims and several others that are false.”
Allegations and Agboola’s response
We have reported this matter previously here: What exactly is the story? According to the article, which he claims contains the necessary proof to back up his allegations, Hundeyin accuses Flutterwave CEO, Olugbenga Agboola, of bullying and committing some crimes. These include insider trading, and inflating and deflating stock prices as desired.
For those who don’t know much about the ‘African giant’ – Flutterwave was founded in 2016, and achieved unicorn status last year, and by February 2022, it was valued at $3 billion having raised $250m in Series D.
This made the company the most valuable African startup, surpassing the $2 billion valuations set by SoftBank-backed fintech OPay and FTX-backed cross-border payments platform Chipper Cash in 2021.
Now you might recall that we already reported on Flutterwave two weeks ago with other allegations here and in our report we said that Clara Wanjiku Odero, a former employee of African payments giant and unicorn Flutterwave, accused the company’s chief executive officer Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola of bullying and harassing her for years.
She made the allegations, which we cannot corroborate, in a Medium post and a series of tweets. In the blog post, Odero recounted how a series of undisclosed events led her to quit her job as Head of Implementation for the Rest of Africa in 2018 and when the time came for her to be settled, she claimed the company refused to do so.
Agboola, in the email seen by TechCrunch, said: “The allegations about how I started the company are untrue. I shared with you during the retreat that a former boss helped us close one of our enterprise clients. I am thankful for the learning and mentorship I received at the numerous employers I worked at before starting Flutterwave.
“We followed all legal processes and procedures, including obtaining board approval when needed, when approving the sale of shares,” he wrote. “In addition, we work closely with our outside law firms to stay in compliance with all applicable regulations.
We have previously investigated employee sexual harassment allegations (including those made against me, and of which I was cleared) and terminated employees who have been inappropriate towards team members. We have had independent third party reviews which gave birth to the We Hear You and whistleblowing policies that you all know of today. We have always had a zero-tolerance policy [to] sexual harassment and we will continue to take action when necessary. No exceptions.”