African fintech startup Flutterwave closes $35 million Series B round

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Fintech startup Flutterwave recently closed a $35 million Series B funding round. The Lagos and San Francisco-based company also announced a huge partnership with Worldpay FIS to make global payments between countries more seamless. 

The capital gives Flutterwave what it needs to expand within existing markets and invest in core operations and technology. The leadership team wants to build out its developer team and business development staff. Additionally, the fintech firm aims to expand its array of services and capabilities around digital payment products.

Flutterwave’s expertise spans multiple sectors, including e-commerce, education, fintech, gaming, and travel. CEO Olugbenga Agboola doesn’t want his company to exist solely as a payment technology agent. Instead, Flutterwave intends to serve clients more broadly with comprehensive solutions.

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Flutterwave Making a Big Splash

Founded in 2016, Flutterwave offers a B2B solution for organizations that have operations in Africa and abroad. Clients can use APIs and tap the expertise of Flutterwave’s developers to create custom payment applications depending on their unique needs. Flutterwave already supports several high-profile businesses, such as Uber and Booking.com.

Last year, Flutterwave processed $5.4 billion across more than 100 million transactions. Cardi B’s team even used Flutterwave’s payment integration technology for her performances in Nigeria and Ghana. Outside of its home base in Lagos, Flutterwave also has operations in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, the U.K., and Zambia.

CEO Agboola, AKA GB, has his sights set on bigger goals. “We want to scale in all of those markets and be the payment processor choice.” He continued, “If you are a charity that wants to raise money for cancer research in Ghana, or you want to sell online…we want to be able to set up payments, write the code and create the platform for those needs.” 

Worldpay Partnership a Key Piece of the Puzzle

Flutterwave has also established a partnership with Worldpay. Now, any Worldpay merchant can accept African payments, which opens up tremendous opportunities for both firms. 

U.S. financial services provider, FIS, acquired Worldpay in 2019 for $35 billion. However, between the two organizations, there was still a significant gap in coverage across Africa. The partnership with Flutterwave gives Worldpay access to a plethora of new markets and customers. 

The relationship is similar to one that Flutterwave entered into with Alipay to enable digital payments between Africa and China. FIS also participated in Flutterwave’s recent funding round and helped bring the startup’s total capital raised to $55 million. 

Fintech on the Rise Globally

Flutterwave’s success is another example of how fintech is thriving in the modern age. Of the current portfolio of unicorn startups, fintech leads the pack with 12 percent of all companies. Startups like Remitly, PayMate, and Curve have all raised massive amounts of money to grow services globally.

Visa recently purchased Plaid for $5.3 billion, which highlights how traditional financial services players are thinking about the future. According to Visa’s leadership, fintech adoption is occurring at a 43 percent compound annual growth rate. Consumers and businesses are moving away from traditional banking and turning to more flexible, agile digital platforms.

Fintech is growing in Africa, especially. The sector captures a large proportion of overall deal flow and capital going into the continent. This is great news for companies like Flutterwave that are just getting started. 

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