HomeNEWSBUSINESSMeet Nigerian Billionaire Entering Kenya's Fintech Market

Meet Nigerian Billionaire Entering Kenya’s Fintech Market

Olugbenga Agboola, a software engineer by profession, is the CEO and co-founder of Flutterwave – one of the most valuable fintechs not just in Africa but the world at large. Flutterwave offers digital payment infrastructure for merchants and payment service providers (PSP)

Agboola, currently 38 years old, had worked as an application engineer at PayPal and in product management at Google before choosing to strike out on his own in 2016.

The Lagos, Nigeria-born Agboola established Flutterwave alongside fellow Nigerian entrepreneur and investor Iyinoluwa Aboyeji. Aboyeji is also a cofounder of tech learning and recruitment startup Andela, and previously served as Flutterwave’s General Manager.

Agboola, who attended the University of Westminster in the UK, is also a graduate of the MBA Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management in the US.

Flutterwave is currently valued at over $3 billion. The service is supported in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, America, and Europe.

This week, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) issued Flutterwave with first name approval as the startup eyes a remittances license, enabling it to offer international cash transfer services to Kenyans.

It was a rare greenlight for Flutterwave in the country. The company has been locked in protracted legal disputes with the Assets and Recovery Authority (ARA) over alleged money laundering.

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In July last year, the ARA froze  $52.5 million belonging to Flutterwave and six other companies. Two months later, it seized $3 million belonging to Flutterwave, Hupesi Solutions, and Adguru Technology Limited on suspicion of money laundering and fraud.

A request filed by ARA for the withdrawal of the second suit against Flutterwave was rejected by High Court judge Nixon Sifuna, in July. In his ruling, Sifuna noted that the ARA, being a public-funded body, had failed to give reasons for the withdrawal, including “negotiations or settlement, or the terms of such negotiations or settlement” and further noted that ARA had earlier provided evidence in court, questioning the motivation behind the withdrawal of the suit.

Agboola also isn’t a stranger to controversy. The celebrated entrepreneur was accused of engaging in fraudulent activities and sexual harassment in a viral 2022 investigative report, although he denied any wrongdoing.

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