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BY Abu Mubarik, 3:00pm January 10, 2023,

African payments giant Flutterwave is vying to buy British fintech Railsr, reports say

Olugbenga Agboola is the Co-founder and CEO of San Francisco and Lagos-based Flutterwave. Photo credit: Shoppe Black

Africa’s largest payments technology company Flutterwave could soon be a big player in the British finance space following a bid to acquire Railsr, one of the country’s prominent fintech companies.

Railsr specializes in “embedded finance solutions such as banking services, credit cards and digital wallets,” according to Sky News.

Sky News further reported that Railsr, formerly Railsbank, is accepting bids from potential buyers which include Flutterwave, which was established in West Africa in 2016 by Nigerian technologists and former bankers.

By 2018, Flutterwave had become the market leader in sub-Saharan Africa and attracted a multimillion-dollar valuation. Since then, the digital payment app known for being seamless and secure has continued to be the choice for small to medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).

The deadline for the sale is unclear but Railsr has been working with “bankers at FT Partners on a range of strategic options including an outright sale for several months,” Sky News reported. The sale of Railsr comes after the company raised $46 million in a Series C funding round.

In February 2022, Flutterwave reached a $3 billion valuation after raising $250 million in its single-biggest funding round to date. The valuation made it the “highest valued” African startup.

The funding round was led by U.S.-based B Capital Group, with participation from Alta Park Capital and Whale Rock Capital. Salesforce Ventures, Tiger Global, Green Visor Capital and Glynn Capital, all existing investors, also participated, FT.com reported.

Flutterwave is one of about four or six unicorns ($1 billion-plus startups) in Africa. According to Olugbenga Agboola, the chief executive of the company, he started the company to make it easy for Africans to make or receive international payments.

“We started Flutterwave due to the fragmented nature of payments in Africa— there were multiple ways of making and receiving payments within countries but cross-border payments remained a hassle. This made it difficult for individuals like myself or businesses to make or receive international payments in Africa,” he told Shoppe Black.

“It was easier for me to send and receive money from the UK than to do the same from Lagos to Nairobi. We saw an opportunity to address this problem and worked with a group of passionate Engineers, Bankers, Designers, Builders, and Marketers to build Flutterwave, to simplify payments for endless possibilities.”

Today, Flutterwave does not only support international payments for over 34 countries but also processes payments across 150 currencies. Also, the fintech has over 300,000 businesses using its solutions to receive money from customers.

Flutterwave in March 2021 raised $170 million in a Series C round. Similarly, it raised a $35 million Series B in 2020 and a $20 million Series A in 2018.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: January 10, 2023


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