By Rasheed Sobowale
Crisis in Nigeria-based FinTech company, Cellulant Nigeria Limited, deepens as the co-founder, Bolaji Akinboro, resigned his position as the CEO and co-group CEO.
According to a source who pleaded to be anonymous, the company is plagued by unhealthy corporate governance practices by the board of directors and the group compliance unit.
This unhealthy practice according to our source has also led to a mass exit and unethical terminations of more than 30 staff of Cellulant, a company that recently attracted the biggest fintech investment in Africa.
Precisely 3 weeks ago after the resignation of the CEO, it was gathered that Cellulant issued official communication to its partners intimating them that one of its flagship platform, “Agrikore marketplace” which supports millions of farmers across Nigeria and guarantees the supply of raw commodities, the Agric value chain participants, would be shut down.
As stated on the company’s site; “Agrikore connects stakeholders and services providers to farmers and the unbanked. The platform currently encompasses about 15,000,000 farmers’ records”.
This development, therefore, raises concerns and it is deeply worrisome because the Agrikore platform supports large manufacturers and protects food security which is one of the biggest national dangers in recent time.
Vanguard contacted a top-ranking official of the company who also requested not being named in this report. The official confirmed the development while stating the ex-CEO is always passionate about making Africa better through initiatives in education, healthcare, and agriculture.
For an official statement, after numerous attempt to reach the media personnel of the company, there was no response. An email sent to the company 9 hours ago (as at the time of publication) has not been responded to.
The customer desk declined to comment directing us to channel all request via the email.
Cellulant was founded in 2004 by Nigeria’s Akinboro with Co-CEO Ken Njoroge from Kenya and in 2018, received the largest investment in the history of fintech companies in Africa with dominant market position across 12 Sub-Saharan countries – Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Malawi.
According to Crunchbase, the company had its first Venture Capital Round on October 1, 2011, raising $1.5m.
It raised $5.5 million in Series B funding on February 17, 2014. The largest money ($47.5) was raised on May 14, 2018, in its Series C funding.
One would think a company with this potential would be gearing towards an IPO at the moment, instead of the crisis embattling its leadership.