Flutterwave’s COO leaves fintech giant after several other high-profile exits

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Flutterwave’s COO leaves fintech giant after several other high-profile exits

Flutterwave’s chief operating officer, Bode Abifarin, has left Africa’s largest startup after six years of leading the startup’s operations, in the latest high-profile exit from the payments giant.

“It’s been a cocktail of highs, lows, victories and failures, hitting milestones, losing milestones, all wrapped up in a story of resilience with the ultimate satisfaction of solving payment problems for our customers,” Abifarin wrote in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday.

Her resignation comes after other high-profile employees like Oneal Bhambani, the former chief financial officer, and Ted Oladele, a former vice president of design and innovation, left the company in recent months. Jimmy Ku, the company’s head of growth for the United States, also left the company in February.

Abifarin joined Flutterwave after 15 years at KPMG Nigeria, where she was an associate director. With almost two decades of experience, she built Flutterwave’s operations, including internal processes, as it attained unicorn status and helped steady the ship through a series of allegations against its leadership in 2022.

“Since our inception, Bode has been the heartbeat of our operations, infusing her passion and dedication into every aspect at Flutterwave,” Gbenga Agboola, Flutterwave’s CEO, said in a LinkedIn post. She will “continue to nurture new businesses” and “focus on building, teaching and education,” after leaving Flutterwave.

Abifarin’s exit comes as the payment giant touts itself as an IPO candidate with a rumoured listing that has been in the works since 2022.

Although the recent exit of high-profile employees raises questions about these stock listing plans, the startup has made progress on other fronts. After a tumultuous fraud allegation by Kenyan authorities, Flutterwave has been cleared of financial impropriety in the East African country, which threatened to dent its reputation. The startup also hired five new executives across its risk, compliance, and expansion departments one month after Bhambani left the company.

Two weeks ago, Flutterwave also added a new board member, Nigerian architect Olajumoke Adenowo, as part of its efforts to drive its international expansion strategy. The startup is also reassessing its product strategy. Last year, it relaunched its international remittances product, Send App, and launched other offerings to help local businesses swap international currencies. Last week, the company shut down the struggling Barter, a virtual card and international payments service it launched in 2017, as it trimmed its focus on the more successful Send App, which has fueled growth.

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