Y Combinator-Backed Nigerian Fintech Firm Launches In South Africa

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

A Nigerian payments platform established by the co-founder of Andela is expanding into Africa.

Now based in Silicon Valley, Nigerian fintech firm Flutterwave claims to have processed more than $2.5 billion for clients such as Uber, Facebook, and Transferwise, among others, according to ITWebAfrica.

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The startup provides transaction infrastructure for mobile payments.

Flutterwave participated in the Y Combinator program in 2017, benefiting from one of the world’s most powerful startup accelerator programs.

The Silicon Valley-based tech incubator has helped accelerate well-known African tech startups includingPayStackKobo360,ReleafCowryRise,Tizeti, and Helium Health from Nigeria, as well as OMG Digital from Ghana and Morocco’s WaystoCap.

Following Flutterwave’s participation in the YC program, the fintech firm raised more than $10 million in Series-A funding in 2017, according to Ventureburn.

The funding included participation from MastercardCRE VenturesFintech Collective4DX Ventures and Raba Capital.

e-commerce market Nigerian fintech firm
Nigerian fintech firm Flutterwave provides a payment system used by the likes of Facebook and Uber. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Flutterwave was founded in 2014 by Nigerian entrepreneur Iyin Aboyeji, a co-founder of Andela. Andela is a Nigerian startup based in New York that trains and outsources African engineers and coders to work for global firms.

Andela’s investors include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan’s social-issues minded fund, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which invested $24 million in 2016.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s investment firm, Generation Investment Management, led a $100 million funding round in Andela in January 2019, Bloomberg reported.

Nigerian fintech firm launches in SA

Flutterwave relocated its headquarters to Silicon Valley in 2018, but runs its operations center in Nigeria, Techcrunch reports.

In addition to South Africa, the company does business in Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.