Nairobi-based tech and payments company Wapi Pay seems to be in the midst of a gruesome story that has dragged on since the start of this week. This is due to a new case against its co-founders, Paul and Eddi Ndichu who are accused of assaulting women in Nairobi’s Emara Ole Sereni Hotel. Unfortunately for their case, the attack was brought to light with a recording showing the two brothers assaulting a woman at the said location.
This has now followed responses from one of Wapi Pay’s biggest investors Kepple Africa. The firm announced that it will be renouncing its investment stake from Wapi Pay. This was announced by the firm on Twitter and LinkedIn by General Partners Satoshi Shinada and Takahiro Kanzaki.
This comes barely a month after the company, through the Ndichu brothers raised over KES 240 million in a fund drive. The fundraising was led by EchoVC and China-based global fund MSA Capital alongside Kepple Africa Ventures.
In light of the alleged assault on women by the founders of our portfolio company Wapi Pay, we Kepple Africa Ventures hereby announce that we have zero tolerance on such conduct and announce that we will relinquish all the rights of our investment stake in Wapi Pay.
— Satoshi Shinada (@KeppleNigeria1) October 18, 2021
As expected, Wapi Pay followed up with an official statement to address the huge elephant in the room.
“Our understanding is that the allegations and video currently being shared on social media, albeit horrific and regrettable, do not depict the true events that transpired that night. To be clear, Paul and Eddie got involved in an attempt to neutralize a confrontation between two women and to defend themselves from certain aggressors,” read part of the statement.
This was met by even more outrage on social media as Kenyans based on the video that has been making rounds.
It is not clear whether the fintech will be losing any other investors but it is certainly not looking well for the firm or its co-founders.
A few hours after this report was published, it was announced that Wapi Pay co-founder Eddie Ndichu has stepped down as a board member of the Association of Fintechs in Kenya (AFK). This was announced by the Association in an official statement.
“On the 19th of October, the Board convened a special meeting during which Mr Ndichu stepped down as a board member pending formal investigations into the matter,” reads the statement.
“The Board takes this opportunity to state that it regrets the current circumstances and does not in any way condone gender-based violence or violence of any kind. The Association remains firmly committed to its objective of ensuring utmost integrity and advocating for the wellbeing of the fintech community and technology industry at large.”
Eddie was a vastly experienced member of the Association having led it while at Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB). Right before venturing into Wapi Pay, he led operations in Kenya for Opera Kenya as well.