African fintech firm Flutterwave raises $35M, partners with Worldpay

African fintech firm Flutterwave raises $35M, partners with Worldpay

Lagos-based fin-tech startup, Flutterwave has raised a $35 million Series B round and also announced a partnership with Worldpay FIS for payments in Africa.

With the funding, Flutterwave will invest in technology as well as business development; to grow market share in existing operating countries, CEO Olugbenga Agboola revealed.

The company will also expand capabilities to offer more services around its payment products.

“We don’t just want to be a payment technology company; we have sector expertise around education, travel, gaming, e-commerce, fin-tech companies. They all use our expertise,” said Agboola.

That means Flutterwave will provide more solutions around the broader needs of its clients.

The Nigerian-founded startup’s main business is providing B2B payments services; for companies operating in Africa to pay other companies on the continent and abroad.

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Launched in 2016, Flutterwave allows clients to tap its APIs and also work with Flutterwave developers to customize payments applications. Existing customers include Uber, Booking.com as well as e-commerce company Jumia.

In 2019, Flutterwave processed 107 million transactions worth $5.4 billion, according to company data.

Flutterwave did the payment integration for U.S. pop-star Cardi B’s 2019 performances in Nigeria and Ghana.

Those are two of the countries in which the startup operates; in addition to South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, the U.K. and Rwanda.

“We want to scale in all those markets and be the payment processor of choice,” Agboola said.

“Our business goes beyond payments. People don’t want to just make payments, they want to do something,” he said.

And Fluterwave aims to offer more capabilities toward what those clients want to do in Africa.

That also means Flutterwave, which built its early client base across global companies, aims to serve smaller African businesses, including startups.

Current customers include African-founded tech companies, such as moto ride-hail venture Max.ng.

The new round makes Flutterwave the payment provider for Worldpay in Africa.

“With this partnership, any Worldpay merchant in Europe or the U.S. can accept any African payment. If someone goes to pay Netflix with an African card, it just works,” Agboola said.

In 2019, Worldpay was acquired for a reported $35 billion by FIS, a U.S. financial services provider. At the time of the purchase, it was projected the two companies would generate revenues of $12 billion annually; yet neither has a notable presence in Africa.

Flutterwave’s $35 million round and latest partnership are among the reasons the startup has become a standout in Africa’s digital-finance landscape.

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