— Kloud Commerce board of directors release statement backing CEO Olumide Olusanya.
— The embattled CEO had been accused of misappropriating company funds and not inspiring investors’ confidence.
The board of directors of Lagos-based e-commerce platform Kloud Commerce has thrown their weight behind troubled CEO Olumide Olusanya amidst fund misappropriation and fraud allegations.
Olusanya’s troubles began with a story by WeeTracker, an African tech media outlet. The story covered the company’s demise, which it said was caused by the CEO’s illegal activities of stealing company funds.
The news outlet had mentioned a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as part of the backing for its story. It also kept mentioning ‘former executives and employees’ testimonies as its sources. From not being able to produce a market-fit product quickly to spending extravagantly on company tabs as well as making rash decisions, the ill-fate of Kloud Commerce was made to look like the fault of Olumide Olusanya.
It claimed that audits of Kloud Commerce accounts, according to the petition, showed the CEO drawing NGN 4 M (~USD 9 K) as entertainment allowance between August and September 2021, NGN 22 M (~USD 50 K) on questionable publicity events and the trip to Ghana, NGN 25 M (~USD 57 K) between June and August 2021 meant for Kloud Commerce to Paymente Ltd., a company he controls, and another USD 15 K from an angel investor that was never accounted for.
However, in a recent report by TechCabal, the board are saying that the campaign against the CEO was led by a single investor and called the allegations unfounded rumours.
“During the disagreements over the recapitalisation negotiations, the said SAFE Investor started spreading unfounded rumors and allegations of financial impropriety on the part of D.O, whereupon an unsuccessful attempt was made to rally other investors to petition EFCC on the back of this,” the board’s statement reads in part.
They also denied other accusations like him traveling around the world on company funds and paying himself salaries while the rest of the staff went unpaid. Instead, Olusanya’s supporters claimed that he had only left Nigeria once, while he was running the company, and even took personal loans to see that employees were paid.
It is rather curious, as TechCabal pointed out, that none of Kloud Commerce’s known investors signed the statement. Also, the WeeTracker coverage had cited several employees, some who left before the company shutdown, as its sources.
According to its website, the company is supposed to enable brands and their retailers to sell to and build relationships directly with African Urbanites.
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