Flutterwave was not the first of its kind in Africa when it was started in 2016 by Nigerian technologists and former bankers. But perhaps, the point of its success can be attributed to the fact it was a financial tech platform that had a lot of input from those in finance.
Often, the process of technological innovation can seem like a developer’s license to play to the gallery. The app or whatever is developed could therefore lose its ergonomic utility. Flutterwave turned out differently and by 2018, it was a market leader in sub-Saharan Africa.
A digital payment app known for being seamless and secure, Flutterwave continues to be the choice for small to medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).
Founder and CEO, Olugbenga Agboola said via social media that plan was always to “build a payments technology infrastructure that connects Africa to the global economy by making local and international payments seamless.”
Flutterwave’s website says the app is available in 11 countries, however, it will soon be 20. This is thanks to a Series C funding that was announced on Wednesday to much funfair in Nigeria and across Africa.
The $170 million secured means in the third round of funding means that the fintech start-up is now a unicorn – a startup worth over $1 billion. This is the first time an indigenous African fintech is valued at that amount.
“We’re grateful for our People, Customers, Investors, Partners, Regulators, the people at @EndeavorNigeria and well wishers. Through your support, we have empowered millions to start their journey to economic freedom, wherever they are, knowing that the world is their market,” Agboola continued in a series of tweets.
But signs show that this could only be the beginning of a lot of good for Flutterwave. Currently, the app hosts more than 1,000 African SMEs that sell their wares on the platform.
Apart from that, individual users of Flutterwave are in their hundreds of thousands but growing. There are now intentions to expand the company’s services to North Africa as well.
Victor Asemota, a Nigerian venture capitalist, believes the success of Flutterwaves will have a positive impact on other tech start-ups across the continent.
“The panic this Flutterwave raise had created in certainly [sic] circles means that Africa was severely underrated both externally and internally. Look, we have done Telco payments all over Africa and this is the tip of the iceberg. Flutterwave will list [sic] and be a greater success,” Asemota said via Twitter.