[Update] November 9, 2023, at 6:30 pm WAT: This article was updated with Flutterwave's statement that it is unaware of any ongoing SEC investigation involving Flutterwave. It reiterated that both events are not linked.
- Three finance executives at fintech unicorn Flutterwave have exited the company.
- Flutterwave's CFO, Oneal Bhambani, announced his exit on LinkedIn alongside the Global Head of Strategic Finance and FP&A, Oscar Lan, and Controller, Rebecca Mendel, after a year and six months at the company.
- This exit comes weeks after investigative journalist David Hundeyin shared documents revealing Flutterwave's founders were investigated for fraud in 2017.
Bhambani who was formerly CFO at American Express, was hired as Flutterwave CFO in May 2022, a month after the African unicorn faced allegations of fraud and insider trading.
The company also went on to face money laundering allegations in Kenya two months later. A Kenyan court approved Kenya’s Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) to freeze over $40 million in accounts belonging to Flutterwave.
However, the ARA withdrew its case against Fluttwerwave in February 2023.
This could be an indication that Bhambani was able to help the startup turn around its financial problems in the Eastern nation.
In his LinkedIn post announcing his exit from Flutterwave, Bhambani said, "Last week, I made the difficult decision to end my tenure at the company."
He said he's been able to scale the company globally with the help of investors, partners, and colleagues from Africa, Europe, and New York.
Some of the partners and colleagues include Lan and Mendel, who have also exited the company.
Mendel, who led the Controllership function at the company, bid her farewells in a LinkedIn post and indicated she was interested in connecting with individuals aware of roles aligned with her expertise.
In a statement to Techpoint Africa, Flutterwave said Bhambani "decided to pursue new opportunities. Israel Koledowo, Head of Finance for Africa, will lead the finance department on an interim basis as we embark on a global search for a new CFO."
While Flutterwave said both events are not linked, the exit of these three financial executives came after the revelation on X (formerly Twitter) that the Flutterwave founders were under investigation for fraud in 2017.
According to the documents shared by David Hundeyin, the US Securities Exchange Commission concluded investigations into Flutterwave Inc. on September 28, 2017.
"Based on the information we have as of this date, we do not intend to recommend an enforcement action by the Commission," the document read.
It, however, stated that the lack of "enforcement of action" should not be seen as an exoneration, as action may be taken on the investigation.
Flutterwave said in a statement, however, that it is unaware of any ongoing investigations with the SEC. "In 2017, we fully complied with an SEC inquiry, and we were notified later that same year that the inquiry had been closed. In the six years since, we have been made aware of no other inquiries."
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