Capiter’s board of directors approved a motion to dismiss co-founders Mahmoud and Ahmed Nouh from their positions as CEO and COO, respectively, on Friday.
The decision came out on the same day that a number of local media sources and social media posts started claiming that the founders had fled overseas with company funds.
The board has not corroborated any of these reports. Instead, they cited the founders’ “inability to fulfill their fiduciary duties over the past week and not reporting to representatives of the Board and shareholders during on-site in-person due diligence meetings for a potential merger,” in a press statement.
On his first and only media appearance to date addressing the issue, CEO Mahmoud Nouh made a televised phone call yesterday to Amr Adib’s El Hekaya talk show, where he denied all allegations, adding that he is yet to receive official notice from the board regarding him or his brother being removed from their positions yet.
“I am still the company’s CEO,” Mahmoud told Adib.
Nouh said Capiter have spent most of the raised $33m in their Series A round last September on operations and has records to prove that. He also shared how he and his brother attended board meetings virtually from Dubai, where his job responsibilities require him to be most of the time.
Nouh was reluctant to share details on the company’s struggles, including last year’s mass layoffs, blaming the brunt of Capiter’s challenges on the war in Ukraine and current economic struggles.
According to him, most of what’s being said on social media is false, and the majority of Capiter’s challenges were caused by the “war in Ukraine” and “current economic struggles”.
Mahmoud’s side of the story contrasts with reports from inside the company, which describe a failing structure and an inability to onboard new merchants as the founders quickly ran out of money. A number of Capiter employees have also taken to social media to complain about unpaid salaries and mass layoffs.
To this, he said that while a number of employees had “resigned” since this started, all salaries have been paid up to Monday, 4 September.
Capiter is a Cairo-based B2B e-commerce startup that brings together manufacturers, brands, wholesalers, and retailers on one platform with access to financial services.
Capiter has previously raised $33m in a Series A round co-led by Quona Capital and MSA Capital and witnessed participation from other investors: Savola, Shorooq Partners, Accion Venture Lab, and Derayah Ventures.
Before founding Capiter with his brother, Mahmoud Nouh was the co-founder and COO of Egypt’s and Dubai-based ride-hailing company SWVL.
This is a developing story.
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