Six months after securing $3 million in a seed funding round led by Moniepoint, Nigerian fintech startup Payday is reportedly in discussions with potential buyers.
While initial reports suggested Moniepoint might acquire Payday, the deal appears to have hit roadblocks, with sources citing Moniepoint’s board’s lack of enthusiasm for the acquisition. Nonetheless, talks to sell the company are ongoing.
However, the startup has faced challenges, including bad press due to fund loss from fraudulent activities. The company temporarily restricted customer accounts after detecting fraudulent activities but didn’t publicly acknowledge it until accusations surfaced.
Internally, Payday encountered issues, including a contentious salary adjustment. The company reduced the salaries of some Nigerian staff by 30-50% in July, citing the need to align with Naira payments for resident employees. Employees expected their Naira salaries to match their dollar equivalents but were disappointed. Payday promised stock options as compensation, which have yet to materialize.
Furthermore, the departure of several employees, including co-founder and COO Ogechi Obike, raised concerns about misaligned goals and disagreements between the co-founders. Obike’s exit note cited goal misalignment as the reason for her departure, but Payday’s management denied these claims, suggesting she left by mutual agreement.
Favour Ori, the CEO of Payday, has been characterized as making impulsive decisions and occasionally sidestepping the company’s product team. Some customers experienced disruptions when Payday switched its Mastercard provider without adequate vetting. Ori has reportedly reduced his involvement in the company lately, leading some to speculate about his commitment.
Despite these challenges, Payday continues to explore options, including potential acquisition, in the competitive Nigerian fintech landscape.