African Fintech Flutterwave Triples Valuation to more than $3B After $250M Series D

After raising $250 million in Series D funding, African fintech, Flutterwave, has tripled its worth to over $3 billion in just one year.

The San Fransisco-based and Lagos-based startup raised $170 million in a Series C investment from Tiger Global and Avenir in March 2021, valuing the company at $1 billion. Flutterwave has raised a total of $475 million since its founding six years ago (it raised a $35 million Series B in 2020 and a $20 million Series A in 2018), confirming a Bloomberg scoop from October.

Flutterwave has surpassed the $2 billion valuations established by SoftBank-backed fintech OPay and FTX-backed cross-border payments platform Chipper Cash last year to become the most valuable African firm at $3 billion.

Flutterwave, led by the founder and CEO Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, uses a single API to simplify cross-border financial transactions between small and large firms in Africa. The firm also assists companies from outside Africa in expanding their operations on the continent., Flywire, and Uber are some of its foreign clientele.

Since TechCrunch published Flutterwave’s unicorn round last year, the company has grown at an exponential rate. The payments company claimed to have processed 140 million transactions worth $9 billion at the time. After a year, the African payment giant has grown to execute 200 million transactions worth more than $16 billion across 34 nations on the continent.

The amount of businesses using its platform has also shot up. It was 290,000 in March 2021, now, 900,000 businesses use Flutterwave worldwide to process payments in 150 currencies, using different kinds of payment modes: Consumer product barter, local and international cards, mobile wallets, and bank transfers.

While Flutterwave’s market share in enterprise payments has been majorly responsible for this success, diversifying into fintech products for small and medium scale enterprises, consumers also played a crucial role.

“It was intentional on our part because we saw the opportunity in the SMB space, and how they require the same technology type the Ubers and Netflixes of this world use”, Agboola said. “Some of this is obvious in how we made the Flutterwave store bigger, this allows small enterprises anywhere in Africa to build an e-commerce shop virtually at no cost scale”, he concluded.

The Flutterwave Market was just revamped last November, it used to be known as the Flutterwave Store which was launched in April 2020. The e-commerce solution has extended to more than 30,000 traders that retailers and consumers can buy various products. Flutterwave launched Send in December, a remittance program that enables users to send money to recipients into and out of Africa.

Customers use the feature –Send- which was called “Flutterwave’s fastest-growing product” by Olugbenga Agboola – majorly to pay for family support, tuition, and gifts, the company said. Send has processed 4,729 transactions, with the total payments reaching $3.59 million in its first month of being launched. Most of its customers are from Nigeria, U.S, and U.K.

“We are becoming what we have always wanted to be; the infrastructure of any kind of payments”, Agboola said. “There is no sector you will look at in Africa today that you won’t find Flutterwave taking a piece of it and helping sellers and consumers to grow and pitch”.

Flutterwave has its headquarters in the U.S, but it does not run any of its operations there. A lot of its U.S-affiliated businesses have to do with striking partnerships with fintech big-guns like Visa, Discover, Paypal, and Worldpay FIS to ease international transactions with Africa.

This has however changed since last year August. The company hired Jimmy Ku as head of growth to lead its expansion into the U.S. Flutterwave now operates an ACH network in the North American country with few customers using the platform to make ACH payments, payouts, and collections.

In years to come, Flutterwave will look at acquisitions that will further root its authority in the fintech ecosystem. As the fintech giant continues to deepen its authority in the SMB and consumer fintech world, we can presume that smaller upcoming startups, including those it is already backing like CinetPay, may become targets of acquisition.

“Presently, no IPO. The goal is to continue expanding and growing, and definitely, we have plans of being IPO-ready from a ripe perspective, this means continuing to build the infrastructure, crossing our Ts, and dotting our Is if we decide to go that way”, Agboola said.


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Boluwatife Aponmade
Boluwatife Aponmade
Boluwatife Aponmade is a Writer, Content Creator, Social Volunteer, Sickle cell Advocate and a lover of arts. She does creative writing, copywriting, storytelling and poetry. She has interest in Mass communication, Law and Journalism. She's a Biochemistry Student.

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