Flutterwave is one of Africa's most valuable financial technology companies, and has been accused of dubious business transactions and the personal abuse of employees.
Series of Flutterwave Accusations
On Monday, April 4th 2022, Clara Wanjiku, an ex-employee, accused the CEO of 5 years' worth of harassment. According to Clara's post on the medium platform, many have asserted that the Nigerian payment company Flutterwave, is not fit enough to be an operating FinTech company in Africa. Wanjiku claims that after she resigned from her job as the Head of Implementation at Flutterwave in 2018 because she wasn't paid her salary for some months and had to sue Flutterwave over the allegation.
According to her, she received some calls from Flutterwave's staff requesting to talk to her so they could resolve the issue internally without involving the court. Eventually, her dues were paid by Flutterwave.
During the court case, Flutterwave accused Clara of being behind a Twitter account that falsely accused Flutterwave management of sexual harassment. Clara also accused Flutterwave's CEO of sabotaging her opportunities to get other jobs, specifically one she got at a Nigerian bank. She claimed the CEO lied in his report by sharing bad information and painting her as a bad worker. Clara also sued Flutterwave for the damages which resulted from the company negligently or deliberately refusing to remove her name and contacts as the contact person on the M-Pesa account. The police hounded her and her family after some fraudulent transactions were recorded in Flutterwave's account.
Clara Wanjiku has asked flutterwave to pay the sum of $900,000 as a remedy for damages for alleged negligence, the court rather awarded her $2500 and she turned down the settlement. In an interview on a Twitter Space held by Ebo Emakhu, she said that $2,500 is not worth the pain, time and money she and her family have gone through because of Flutterwave for the past 5 years. Clara appealed the case and is still in court jurisdiction.
On 13th April 2022, David Hundeyin, anothe ex-employee and the founder of West Africa Week, released a report of investigations, accusing Flutterwave for alleged fraudulent transactions and sexual harassment. In his tweets, he quotes, "Six months ago, I started working on a story about @theflutterwave. Along the way, I have obtained top-secret documents, recordings and records that tell a very different story from what is publicly known". According to David Hundeyin's report on West Africa Week, David claimed that Flutterwave's CEO, Agboola, is a fraudulent transactor and has committed several products in the business space. He accused him of involvement in insider trading and actively working in Access Bank PLC while running Flutterwave. He was also accused of sexually harassing his employees in the workspace.
The story is mouthful and unimaginable, knowing the fact that Flutterwave is a top-rated FinTech unicorn in Africa at large. As of today, 19th April 2022, the CEO, Agboola or the management of Flutterwave haven't said anything or given any reports concerning the allegations made against the company by David.
What Can Other Startup Companies Learn from this?
Many business analysts have said that these reports may cause a large shadow over Nigerian technology and valuations; it may lead foreign investors to devalue African startups and never want to invest in Nigeria or African startup companies. Africa is consistent in development. It is advised that any startup company trying to build a solution for the public should go under the principle that comes with the business, transparency and honesty are core values. Proofs are plenty, allegations keep coming, stay away from Insider Activities. A startup should be transparent and generous. Deter from any activity that may damage the reputation of your business or name.
If new startup companies continue under the influence of Flutterwave, many African Tech communities may crumble. Investigations are still being made and cases are still in court. We are yet to see the outcome of these allegations made against flutterwave and its CEO, Olugbenga Agboola.