CFO and Two Finance Executives Resign from Flutterwave, Casting Shadows on IPO Plans
Oneal Bhambani, who served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Flutterwave, has tendered his resignation, marking his departure from the fintech startup after only 18 months since joining. His unexpected departure has triggered inquiries into Flutterwave’s intentions regarding its anticipated stock market listing.
“Last week, I made the difficult decision to end my tenure at the company,” he shared in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday. “Thank you to Flutterwave for a seat on its journey to scale payments across Africa… I wish everyone at Flutterwave the best, and I will be rooting for you.”
“Oneal Bhambani has decided to pursue new opportunities,” said Flutterwave in an email to TechCabal. “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.”
Bhambani joined Flutterwave in May 2022 at a critical juncture when Africa’s most valuable startup was grappling with accusations of financial misconduct and workplace harassment. Prior to his role at Flutterwave, Bhambani served as the CFO of the small business lending arm of American Express, previously known as Kabbage and now rebranded as American Express Business Blueprint. With a career spanning two decades in finance, Bhambani’s arrival was anticipated to provide stability and guide the company through turbulent waters. He played a significant role in managing the fraud allegations in Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, where Flutterwave operated without the necessary licensing.
Bhambani was not alone in his transition to Flutterwave; he was joined by two other finance executives from Kabbage, Rebecca Mendel and Oscar Lan. Regrettably, both of these executives have also departed from the company, as indicated on their LinkedIn profiles, with their exits occurring in October.
Following the withdrawal of financial misconduct charges by Kenyan prosecutors, Flutterwave regained its momentum, with a renewed focus on growth. The company announced its intentions to go public, though it refrained from specifying a precise timeline for the initial public offering (IPO). Flutterwave’s recent initiatives have included the introduction of a currency swap product tailored for the Nigerian market and the launch of a revamped international payments app named Send App. The company is also intensifying its efforts in the consumer payments sector, diversifying from its core business segment that has been the driving force behind its sustained growth for several years.
The departure of Bhambani is a significant development for Flutterwave, representing the most high-profile exit from the company since 2018 when its co-founder and then-CEO, Iyin Aboyeji, left the organization. Bhambani’s resignation has sparked substantial concerns about Flutterwave, a fintech firm with backing from Tiger Global and a valuation of $3 billion, particularly in relation to its ambitious IPO aspirations.