Flutterwave, a San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech unicorn, has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft, the tech giant founded by U.S. billionaire Bill Gates.
The partnership seeks to empower at least 10 million small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) across Nigeria and Africa at large, according to Billionaire Africa. Flutterwave is led by Nigerian tech entrepreneur Gbenga Agboola.
In a statement celebrating the landmark partnership, Lillian Barnard, president of Microsoft Africa, stressed its potential in driving financial and digital inclusion as well as innovation across Africa. According to her, the importance of the partnership can be viewed from the standpoint of widespread challenges related to accessing financial services.
Sharing insightful data to show the significance of the partnership, Barnard said about half of Africa’s population remains unbanked, adding that the trend cannot continue if businesses are to succeed, making digital and financial inclusion important.
Echoing Barnard’s position, Agboola said the partnership with Microsoft can potentially accelerate financial inclusion in Africa. This, he says, underlines the transformative potential of Microsoft’s cloud and artificial intelligence technologies.
Agboola stated, “We want to provide infrastructure that will make payments really simple for the average consumer in Africa, or anywhere in the world. We see an immense opportunity in this partnership, and we are committed to scaling our efforts to benefit the entire continent.”
The partnership will utilize the Microsoft OpenAI platform and services to make it easier for Flutterwave to expand to a global merchant base.
Flutterwave is Africa’s largest payment technology. In 2018, Flutterwave became 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).
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.