Africa is exploding with growth in the electronic payment industry, and the largely untapped market is full of potential. In 2019 alone, Africa saw $20 billion in sales made through electronic payment services. Now Flutterwave, a Nigerian company founded in 2016, aims to capitalize on this growth with its payment software.
The company’s primary focus is to take the fragmented state of ecommerce across African countries and organize services onto its platform for ease-of-use, integrating services like digital banking, credit and debit cards, and ecommerce apps onto one API. Because the use of these types of payment methods is still relatively low throughout the entire continent, Flutterwave’s efforts aim to lay a foundation for easy operation as e-payments become more normalized across African countries.
Flutterwave has now made history as part of a select group of African fintechs to achieve unicorn status with a $1 billion valuation. This valuation came with the company’s Series C funding, which raised an impressive $170 million. This latest funding round was led by Avenir and Tiger Global with participation from DST Global, Early Capital Berrywood, and Green Visor Capital, among others.
Headquartered in San Francisco, with key operations in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, and seven other African countries, the company’s software is available to 33 countries across the continent and processes 150 different currencies across the market. The current payment modes offered span to include both local and international banking and card systems, as well as a barter option through the platform.
Now, Flutterwave’s CEO, Olugbenga Agboola, is hoping to use this newly acquired capital to expand operations even further. “As we look to the future, our focus remains the same which is to stand by our 290,000 merchants across Africa every day as they strive to build their mom-and-pop stores into global businesses. We look forward to increasing our investments across the continent and deepening the impact our platform has on lives as we take more businesses in Africa to the World, and at the same time continue to bring more of the World to Africa,” he said.
With plans to expand in North Africa and incorporate more payment options, Flutterwave is making rapid moves forward. It will continue with acceleration across its customer acquisition realm, while bridging the gap between African businesses and brands and the global market, with the hope of being a reckoning force in the expansion of e-commerce availability continentally.