Risevest's co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Eke Urum has stepped down following allegations of abuse of power and sexual impropriety.
Eke stepped down on August 3, 2022 to enable an independent investigation panel set up by Risevest's investors to look into the allegations. The members of the panel include Tomi Davies of TVC Labs as Chair, Odunoluwa Longe of TLP Advisory as Legal Adviser and Toun Tunde-Anjous of The People Practice as People and Culture Adviser.
"We want to assure our stakeholders and the general public that we continue to operate optimally as a company, and our customers will continue to enjoy the highest quality of services and support," Risevest said in a statement seen by Benjamindada.com.
For the duration of the 6-week investigation, the current Head of Operations, Tony Odiba, who has been with Risevest since its inception is currently the interim CEO, while Otasowie Evbuomwan is leading the fintech's US Operations.
The statement added that findings of the investigation will be made known within two weeks after the investigation. "Risevest's operations and investment processes do not rely on any single individual and are completely unaffected by any of these circumstances. Our team continues to manage all investments and operations as usual," the company said.
In 2021, Risevest's ex Head of Marketing, Efe Uduigwomen resigned citing work from concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and breach of contract. "I was asked to send in my resignation if I couldn't work from the office every day. My primary concern was how being at the office every day made me less safe from the COVID pandemic that has troubled the world," she said. However, Eke described her allegations as "blatant half truths".
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Risevest was founded in 2019 by Bosun Olanrewaju, Eke Urum, and Tony Odiba, the fintech allows Africans to invest in foreign investment opportunities. In March 2021, raised an undisclosed seed round. Prior to that the company raised a $120,000 seed in July 2020.
The fintech accounts along side five other Nigerian fintech startups frozen were frozen by the request of the Central Bank in August 2021 due to "llicit forex transactions". Later in August 2021, the Federal High Court in Abuja made a ruling in favour of Risevest on the allegations.
Eke's allegations is coming few months after Flutterwave's CEO Olugbenga Agboola was accused of sexual harassment. Agboola said that the allegations of "sexual harassment have been proved false or have already been reported, investigated and addressed by management."