Home Technology Dash CEO placed on ‘indefinite administrative leave’ as Insight-backed startup conducts financial audit – businessroundups.org

Dash CEO placed on ‘indefinite administrative leave’ as Insight-backed startup conducts financial audit – businessroundups.org

by Ana Lopez
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Prince Boakye Boampongthe founder and CEO of dashwhich offers an alternative payment network with linked wallets that allow mobile money to interact with bank accounts in Africa has reportedly been temporarily suspended pending an investigation into financial impropriety, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

Boampong founded the Ghanaian fintech in 2019 and after co-launch is one of Africa’s well-known serial entrepreneurs OMG digitala YC-backed Ghanaian media startup, in 2016. For now, the board replaced him with Kenneth Kinyua, the former CEO of Kopo Kopo, a pan-African payments company, who recently joined Dash for a regional leadership role in East Africa. Kinyua assumes the role of interim CEO.

Last March, Ghana-founded and New York-based Dash raised $32.8 million in equity from Insight Partners, Global Founders Capital, 4DX Ventures and ASK Capital, among others. The seed round, which sources valued Dash at just over $200 million, was the second largest deal of its kind after PalmPay’s $40 million in 2019. It also marked Insight Partners’ first investment in an African startup; the $20 billion behemoth participated in Flutterwave’s Series C round in 2021.

Before Dash raised more than $30 million, he initially wanted to raise a quarter of that money, about $8 million, as a starting round. It had done this by October 2021, acquiring about 200,000 users and processing $250 million in transaction volume. By March 2022, five months after the first seed tranche, Dash’s total processing volume exceeded $1 billion and had acquired one million from Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, Boampong told businessroundups.org in the March interview. That’s a 4x increase in transaction volume and a 5x increase in user count within five months. The rapid growth, coupled with the 2020–2021 fintech boom spilling over into the first quarter of 2022, enabled Dash to attract new investors as it reopened and quadrupled its launch round.

In hindsight, the growth in user and transaction volume Dash reported in that short period may not have been entirely above expectations, as the growth rates differed significantly from what businessroundups.org usually sees about how other consumer fintechs in Africa are scaling up.

Indeed, sources told businessroundups.org that Boampong was reportedly suspended as CEO for financial misreporting. However, Dash’s board communicated a different angle regarding the current status of the former chief to businessroundups.org in a joint statement. Without commenting or providing specific context on Boampong’s misconduct, a spokesperson for the board of directors said it placed the CEO on “indefinite administrative leave” on Jan. 24, 2023, pending a forensic financial audit from the company. The audit results could be known within a month, sources say.

In appointing the interim CEO, the board stated that it is “confident in Mr. Kinyua’s leadership and ability to execute on Dash’s mission to create a unified payment system designed to drive efficiency and accessibility. increase for how Africans deal with digital money.”

Meanwhile, sources familiar with the company’s internal operations claim that executives repeatedly concealed financial records within the company and described a disorganized workplace where employees resigned and were fired at will. businessroundups.org reached out to Boampong for comment. The founder — who, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation, sold millions of dollars worth of his shares in a secondary sale, a practice a handful of African founders took part in during the VC boom of the past two years — did not respond.

Dash, a unified payment app that combines mobile money and traditional bank accounts, simplifies transactions for consumers and businesses. The fintech’s playbook is similar to Visa or Mastercard, as it directs payments through banks and telcos, regardless of who issued it. For example, users from various African countries, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya can connect their bank or mobile money accounts to Dash, pay bills and send and receive money to other users while the platform handles currency conversions. The four-year-old fintech generates revenue from processing fees, savings, FX fees, bill payments, and subscription fees.

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