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Anthony Kariuki, co-founder of Kenyan fintech startup Alternative Circle, has resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace, the company’s board announced today.
“Anthony will no longer represent Alternative Circle in any capacity,” the board said in a statement issued today. The board said there will be no further comment on the matter so as to protect the identity of the victim, who has chosen to remain anonymous.
Said the company’s co-founder and CEO Kevin Mutiso: “Our policy on sexual harassment is clear and explicit; sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated, no matter the rank or status of any employee”.
Kariuki founded the lending platform in 2016 with Kevin Mutiso. The company closed a seed round of $1.1-million from CreditInfo early this year.
Alternative Circle’s policy on sexual harassment is clear and explicit; sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable
Today on the startup’s website a photo of Kariuki is notably missing — as is any reference to him having founded the company with Mutiso.
The “about” section on the company’s website instead reads: “Kevin Mutiso founded Alternative Circle in March 2016 with a mission to give financial access to over 200 million people globally”.
However, the meta description under Google search still has it that Mutiso and Kariuki were joint founders, it reads “Kevin Mutiso and Anthony Kariuki founded Alternative Circle in March 2016 with a mission to give financial access to over 200 million people globally”.
*UPDATE (18 December 2017): Commenting the the deletion of Kariuki’s name as one of the founders from Alternative Circle’s website, the company’s head of communications Phidi Mwatibo said the decision to do so was part of “an internal matter” and that the company would not comment further on this.
Ventureburn is attempting to get hold of Kariuki. Emails sent by Ventureburn to a company email address from Mwatibo for the co-founder bounced back.