Flutterwave CFO Oneal Bhambani steps down amid $50 million investment plans

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By Robert Fofana

Flutterwave CFO Oneal Bhambani steps down amid  million investment plans
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Oneal Bhambani, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of leading African payments company Flutterwave, has announced his resignation after serving for a year. He made the announcement via LinkedIn. His departure comes at a time when Flutterwave is planning a significant $50 million investment in Kenya.

Bhambani’s tenure at Flutterwave was marked by several challenges, including allegations of money laundering in Kenya that led to the freezing of several bank accounts and over $52 million in funds by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC). The case was later withdrawn, allowing Flutterwave to regain access to its accounts. Additionally, a group of Nigerian nationals obtained a court order to freeze 45 Flutterwave accounts in Kenya and 10 Mobile Money Wallets, alleging they were defrauded of $12.04 million through the company.

Despite these hurdles, Bhambani successfully led Flutterwave’s expansion into Rwanda as a licensed remittance company. Following his resignation, Israel Koledowo will serve as interim CFO while the company conducts a global search for a new CFO.

Under Bhambani’s leadership, Flutterwave received first-name approval from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) for a payments and remittances license. The firm is planning to hire more staff and set up a new office, with expansion plans into additional African markets such as Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Cameroon.

Bhambani joined Flutterwave after it secured a $250 million Series D at a valuation of over $3 billion. CEO Olugbenga Agboola acknowledged Bhambani’s financial expertise as crucial to the company’s growth.

The company has also indicated plans for an initial public offering (IPO). It expanded its remittance product, Send App, to India through a partnership with IndusInd bank. Since its launch in December 2021, Send App processed 4,729 transactions totaling $3.6 million in its first month. By February 2022, Flutterwave’s transactions had surged by over 40%, reaching 200 million transactions with the total value increasing by 78% to $16 billion. The number of businesses using Flutterwave’s payment methods also tripled from 290,000 to 900,000 during this period.

Bhambani abruptly ended his tenure at Flutterwave in May 2022 without detailing reasons. His recruitment was seen as a strategic move to stabilize the company amidst allegations of financial improprieties and employee mistreatment. However, his departure and that of other executives from Kabbage have thrown Flutterwave’s IPO plans into uncertainty and forced a reevaluation of its leadership and financial strategies.

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