Fintech startup Flutterwave, based in San Francisco and Lagos, has raised a $ 35 million Series B round and announced a partnership with Worldpay FIS for payments in Africa.
With funding, Flutterwave Olugbenga Agboola – also known as the UK – told TechCrunch that he would invest in technology and business development to increase market share in existing operating countries.
The company will also expand its functions to offer more services related to its payment products.
More than just payments
“We don't just want to be a payment technology company, we have industry knowledge in education, travel, gaming, e-commerce, and fintech. They all use our expertise, ”said GB.
That is called Flutterwave offers more solutions to the broader needs of its customers.
The main business of the startup, founded in Nigeria, is to provide B2B payment services for companies operating in Africa to pay other companies on the continent and abroad.
Flutterwave was launched in 2016 and allows customers to access its APIs and work with Flutterwave developers to customize payment applications. Existing customers include Uber, Booking.com and the e-commerce company Jumia.
In 2019, Flutterwave processed 107 million transactions worth $ 5.4 billion, according to company data.
Flutterwave took over the payment integration for the appearances of the US pop star Cardi B in 2019 in Nigeria and Ghana. These are two of the countries in which the startup operates, besides South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Great Britain and Rwanda.
"We want to scale in all of these markets and be the payment processor of choice," said GB.
According to the UK, the company will hire more people for business development and expand its development team to create more industry expertise.
“Our business goes beyond payments. People don't just want to pay, they want to do something, ”he said. Fluterwave aims to provide more opportunities for customers in Africa.
"If you are a charity that wants to raise money for cancer research in Ghana, or if you want to sell online, or if you are Cardi B who wants to give concerts in Africa, we would like to be able to set up and write payments. Enter the code and build the platform for these requirements, ”said GB.
This also means that Flutterwave, which has its early customer base in global companies, wants to serve smaller African companies, including startups. Current customers include technology companies founded in Africa, such as the Moto-Ride-Hagel-Venture Max.ng.
The new round makes Flutterwave the payment provider for Worldpay in Africa.
“With this partnership, every Worldpay Merchants in Europe or the United States can accept any African payment. When someone goes to pay for Netflix It just works with an African card, ”said GB.
Worldpay in 2019 was acquired for a reported $ 35 billion from FIS, a US financial services provider. At the time of the purchase, it was predicted that the two companies would generate annual sales of $ 12 billion without having a significant presence in Africa.
This is the advantage of working with Flutterwave.
FIS Head of Ventures Joon Cho confirmed the partnership with TechCrunch. FIS also supported $ 35 million in Flutterwaves Series B. The US VC companies Greycroft and eVentures led the round in which Visa, Green Visor and the African fund CRE Venture Capital participated.
With the recent funding from Flutterwave, the company's total investment is $ 55 million. This year, the fintech company announced a number of important partnerships.
In July 2019, the startup partnered with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Alipay to offer digital payments between Africa and China.
The Alipay A partnership between Flutterwave and Visa followed to launch a customer payment product for Africa called GetBarter.
Flutterwave and African fintech
Flutterwave's $ 35 million round and the recent partnership are one of the reasons why the start-up has become an outstanding company in the African digital finance landscape.
As an industry, fintech generates most of the deal flow and most of the start-up capital that flows to African start-ups each year. According to the latest statistics from WeeTracker, VC to Africa was worth $ 1.35 billion in 2019.
While a number of startups and payment processing products have increased (see Paga in Nigeria and M-Pesa in Kenya), the majority of the continent's fintech companies focus on P2P and are spread across one or two markets.
The Flutterwave platform has served the growing payment needs in the B2B space triggered by the decade of growth and reforms in the core African economies.
The value that the startup has created is underlined not only by the company's transaction volume, but also by the partnerships that it has attracted.
A growing list of masters of the payment universe – Visa, Alipay, Worldpay – have shown that they need Flutterwave to fund in Africa.