Not the Best July For Flutterwave
There is no doubt that Flutterwave has experienced the dry weather that comes along with July in Kenya. In July, the Kenyan weather is probably not harsh but not cool either, the rain is over and the Kenyan safari feeling takes over. This is the kind of weather tourists love, but definitely, not the kind organizations desire.
Flutterwave experienced a shake in the East African nation during the recently concluded month. Although like a recent hurricane event, the impact can not be attested immediately. From a freeze order to a snub action, July regrettably became the beginning of a trying month for flutter.
Flutterwave Flutters Into Kenya.
Like every other startup launching/launch out, it was a celebration when Flutterwave took to pen and paper to tell the world it could finally serve the Kenyans in 2016. It announced that it had partnered with Kenya’s Central Bank (CBK), and had it’s first The Ticket Fairy has its first client. Flutterwave did not flutter its way into Kenya, it raised the dust because it was already rolling out API’s to already establish fintechs in Kenya by September, this was before it began to run fully by October 2016.
By 2017 the fintech startup had raised Ten Million USD in a series A funding round, this had been set to help the fintech actualize and establish its expansion plan. In its view, the Flutterwave platform was programmed to change the world, especially to make payment easier in all the African countries.
By 2018 Flutterwave launched a payment solution called Bater in Kenya which was well accepted by the public. The platform is enabled to create ATM cards that will be used virtually and these cards can be made for various vendors, the likes of Visa, Master, or Verve, it can also be customized to hold foreign currencies.
Flutterwave enjoyed the warmth of the summer during these periods, the acceptance from the crowd, meeting the needs of its East African home, and the increase in recognition and users, things all seemed too good to be true for the startup.
The organization enjoyed growth and extension home and abroad, as it became a unicorn in 2021, an event that resulted from it being able to raise One hundred and Seventy Million USD in a series C round, the company attested to be valued at One Billion US Dollars, which made it one of the four unicorns from Africa.
The Flutter Saga (s)
Just as Ice mounts up in winter but begins to melt in spring, That’s the way Flutterwave’s mojo began to act up in 2022. Without digressing to other nations where Flutter had sagas or issues, Kenya remains the topic of the location.
It all started when one Of Kenya’s media organizations, The Star, released an article that broke all hell loose on the 6th of July 2022, quite early in the month. The article reported an event in which had a Kenyan high court order the freeze of Flutterwave Kenyan Bank accounts which held billions of US dollars and that of 56 other accounts linked to it in one way or the other. The order was based on the grounds of alleged money laundering and illegal activities charges made by the Assets Recovery Authority(ARA). This news definitely caused an uproar in the media. Few hours later, Flutterwave, CEO, Olugbenga Agoola responded.
In Gbenga’s defence, Flutterwave was not involved in any of the alleged acts and investigations will prove him right, Yet he did not debunk the news of the organization’s accounts being frozen.
On the 28th of July 2022 The Centarl Bank Of Kenya, CBK, came out to state that the Flutterwave had illegally conducted it services in the nation, reitirating that the Unicorn had not received the licence to operate before it began transactions.
The statement made for the CBK could easily mean any other transactions with the organization after it had come out to make it statement should be stopped. This further placed the Unicorn in a complex situation.
Bound from transacting in the nation and also alledged. In response to the CBK’s statement, Flutter claimed that it had submitted the application for licencing since 2019 in quote, “In 2019, as our operations grew, Flutterwave submitted its application for a Payment Service Provider licence. We have been in constant engagement with the Central Bank of Kenya to ensure that we provide all the requirements and we look forward to receiving our licence.”
July has come to an end but Flutter’s saga has not ended. It accounts are still frozen, and it has not been offered it licence still. The fintech still await courts judgments in its case.
August in action now, will this month be different, will there be a silver lining, will the rainbow come out for Flutter, well, only time can tell, we wait and watch.