The story of Africa’s biggest startup is scaring Wall Street

Africa has seven unicorns so far and, despite the difficulty in finding capital since the second quarter, investors have been particularly appreciative of the continent’s nuggets since January. In fintechs, the Flutterwave Payment Platform raised $250 million to achieve a rating of $3 billion. Today, it is the largest African startup. But its integration into the world of finance is complicated.

Flutterwave has recruited several executives directly from the Wall Street community in recent weeks. That’s where your future is at stake. The fintech installed in Nigeria has List on the New York Stock Exchange to continue its growth and seek new capital, sources familiar with the matter recently confirmed to Bloomberg.

Poaching at American Express and Goldman Sachs

Flutterwave has hired former Goldman Sachs director Gurbhej Dhillon (who has been with the investment bank for 17 years) and former American Express vice president Oneal Bhamban as its new chief financial officer. Profiles and key positions to allow smooth operation. Or at least, with as little trouble as possible. Because the Nigerian startup is going through a difficult period, with a damaged reputation.

The setbacks are numerous, especially around its co-founder Olugbenga Agboola. of yours inappropriate behavior with collaborators, the man would also have mounted Flutterwave on a completely illegal funding base, with Access Bank assets. He and his partner were working there when Flutterwave was released in 2016.

In addition to movements by activists against the CEO’s behavior with the company’s women, several former employees attacked Flutterwave in court for lack of pay. Gbemisola Ajayi, who worked at the startup until 2020, claimed that Flutterwave did not pay him the stock compensation provided for in his contract. He was therefore suing the company for $800,000amount of capital he could have stored with his shares in the company.

IPO Cancellations in 2022

These pans are the subject of investigation, mainly in the United States, while the startup has set up its headquarters in California. The allegations multiplied at the beginning of the year and both in its accounts and in terms of its public relations, Flutterwave is finding it difficult to be able to go public in good and due form. “With all this, I don’t believe international public markets are ready for a Flutterwave IPO”exclaimed an African lawyer and investor, interviewed by Bloomberg.

If the company manages to manage at these different points, once on the stock exchange, the biped may, however, lose its footing in the face of the melancholy of the markets – in which most companies decide to deprogram their listing operation, as was the case in January with WeTransfer Flutterwave is therefore weakened on all sides. In Kenya, regulators are also attacking company services that they believe are operating without a license for a payment activity.

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“Going to public markets is as much a public relations and marketing exercise as it is fundraising. And at the moment, the Flutterwave image is damaged.”said a source close to the matter who wishes to remain anonymous. “They need to fix these problems”she added.

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