An Africa-focused fin tech company, Flutterwave dropped a bombshell and announced on Wednesday that they secured $170 million from a leading group of international investors including Avenir Growth Capital and Tiger Global to expand its customer base in existing and international markets and to develop new products.
The company founded in 2016 and based in San Francisco and Lagos; will extend its payments network to Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia and will be live there by the middle of the second quarter, Olugbenga Agboola, the Co-founder states in Lagos. Flutterwave might then set up a physical presence in those countries, he says. He also wants to expand into francophone Africa as “our network needs to be everywhere” on the continent.
Flutterwave has processed over 140 million transactions worth over $9bn for clients which include Jumia, Uber, Facebook and Booking.com. During lockdowns in 2020, the company created an e-commerce platform to enable businesses to trade online. Among new products is the Flutterwave Mobile service, which allows small merchants to convert a mobile phone into a point of sale. Flutterwave Mobile goes live this week, and initial deployment will be in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Rwanda, Agboola says.
Start-up investors have flocked in growing numbers to African fintech since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the African Tech Startups Funding Report, fintech attracted more investment than any other African start-up sector last year, both in terms of amount invested and the number of companies which secured funding.
With this development, Flutterwave could consider a New York listing, a Reuters report quoted its chief executive officer and co-founder, Olugbenga Agboola, to have said.
“We may consider the possibility of listing in New York or a possible dual listing in New York and Nigeria,” Mr Agboola said.
According to a statement from the firm, the company’s valuation is now in excess of $1 billion.
The fundraiser brought the total investment in Flutterwave to $225 million, it said in a statement, and that the COVID-19 pandemic had accelerated the shift to digital payments in Africa.
The report noted that the fundraising round was led by Avenir Growth Capital and Tiger Global Management LLC.
Flutterwave says it has raised $170m from a Series C fundraising which values it at over $1bn, so qualifying the company for “unicorn” status. Agboola’s aim is to make it easier for Africans to build global businesses that can make and accept payments worldwide. Flutterwave will use the money, raised from investors, to accelerate customer acquisition and develop new products.