African’s tech unicorn, Flutterwave faces accusations of “insider trading”, “fraud”

Written by on April 13, 2022

David Hundeyin, journalist and founder of West Africa Weekly newsletter, stated in a tweet on April 12, that he began working on a story about the Nigerian payment company, Flutterwave, six months ago. The story has now gone viral, dominating Twitter roundtable discussions.

This was revealed in an investigation report on the company, titled, “Flutterwave: The African Unicorn Built On Quicksand”, he accused the organization of fraud, perjury, and insider trading shedding a dark cloud over one of the most respected tech startups in Africa.

High points of the report

  • The expose was based on interviews with three ex-employees of Flutterwave whom the writer said he had an extensive discussion for his story. The accusation was largely on Mr, Olugbenga Agboola “GB”, the founder of Flutterwave.
  • He accused Mr, Olugbenga Agboola (GB), the founder of Flutterwave of engaging in “insider trading” by offering to buy “stock options” from employees at a price “lower” than the “market price”.
  • He also alleged that this was an offense under US law and could attract jail time.
  • He also accused GB of impersonating and double-dealing by using his contact as a staff of Access Bank (Nigeria’s largest bank by asset base) to give deals to Flutterwave unbeknownst to unsuspecting clients and Access Bank. GB was also working for Access Bank at the time.
  • He also accused Flutterwave of engaging in “fraudulent” activities by dealing Arik Air without “paperwork” thus facilitating transactions without proper documentation.
  • “Basically someone at Arik started a payments company to process payments for Arik, but he was processing through Flutterwave. So he got a cut of every Arik transaction – and Arik transaction volumes were among the biggest at Flutterwave – but there was no reseller agreement. Isn’t that basically corruption?”
  • Mr. Hundeyin also accused legal firm Banwo and Ighodalo “B&I” of caving in to the demand of Flutterwave by advising a client to drop a case against the Tech Unicor after they had initially told the client otherwise,
  • “Suddenly and without notice, shortly after presenting a professional opinion stating that Flutterwave was in the wrong and had a case to answer, B&I quietly informed Jennifer that they had been retained by Flutterwave and they would have to drop her case. Apparently whenever Flutterwave wants anything in Nigeria – ethical or not – GB just signs a cheque and makes any problem go away.”
  • The report further accused investors in Flutterwave of largely ignoring some of the accusations even though they were aware of them.
  • “Someone sent an email detailing all these fraudulent activities to every investor on the cap table, and they are all aware and they talk about it, but they did nothing.”

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