Fintech unicorn Flutterwave is having a month of mixed fortunes as it works towards expansion and an IPO. Its CFO, Oneal Bhambani, left after just 18 months on the job. Two other high-level executives in the finance department, who joined at the same time and from the same company as Bhambani, left in October.
The exits in the critical department are likely to raise eyebrows about the company, which has been working towards an IPO amidst multiple reputational challenges in and away from the boardroom in the last few years.
Cleared in Nairobi
One of those challenges ended late last week after an anti-corruption court in Nairobi allowed the withdrawal of money laundering and fraud charges in a case filed by the Assets Recovery Authority (ARA) a year ago.
- A second case was withdrawn in March 2023, but the court had declined to withdraw the first case until the anti-money laundering unit filed affidavits on reasons why it had changed its mind.
“The investigation report..has satisfactorily explained to me the source and legitimacy of the funds in issue and I am satisfied that the same are not proceeds of crime,” director at the anti-money laundering agency stated in an affidavit explaining the withdrawal.
In the ruling, Justice Nixon Sifuna accepted the withdrawal of the suit by the authority, ending one of the most watched cases in the African fintech sector. The court granted the withdrawal on condition that any civil or liability arising out of it would not be passed on to the government but solely laid on the CEO and Investigator of ARA behind the case.
“This is because of the negligent, reckless, careless, rash and parody manner in which this case was investigated and this suit instituted and driven,” Justice Sifuna explained in the ruling.
“With this case behind us, Flutterwave will focus on acquiring its license in Kenya, expanding its operations, and further supporting local businesses and economic growth,” the company said in a statement.
A Win in Blantyre
As the fintech company works on getting its license in Kenya where the central bank recently warned against dealing with unlicensed money transfer services, the company has been granted a license in Malawi.
The International Money Transfer Operator (IMTO) license was granted in October, and will enable the payments company to process remittances from Malawians and other Africans sending money back home.
“We are grateful to the Reserve Bank of Malawi for placing their trust in us. We look forward to this remarkable journey, and we remain committed to delivering the best possible financial services to the people of Malawi,” Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Founder and CEO said.