Tech & Innovation February 18, 2022 at 03:00 pm

Nigeria’s Flutterwave reaches $3bn valuation and now the ‘highest valued’ African startup

Abu Mubarik February 18, 2022 at 03:00 pm

February 18, 2022 at 03:00 pm | Tech & Innovation

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

Nigerian fintech startup Flutterwave has reached a $3 billion valuation after raising $250 million in its single-biggest funding round to date. The latest valuation makes it the “highest valued” African startup, it said.

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.

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in San Francisco and Lagos, Flutterwave is now the biggest payment startup on the continent, processing some 200mn transactions worth more than $16bn in 34 African countries, according to FT.com.

The chief executive of the company, Olugbenga Agboola, said the money would be used to fund expansion beyond Africa to other emerging markets in Latin America as well economies linked to the continent such as the U.S., UK, United Arab Emirates and Canada.

“Africa does not exist in isolation,” he said. These places “are connected to Africa — for example, an African business exporting to the US does not have to go to the US and use somebody else, they can use Flutterwave.”

Flutterwave is one of about four or six unicorns ($1 billion-plus startups) in Africa. According to Agboola, 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 firm 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.

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