African Fintech Firm Flutterwave Raises $35M, Partners With Worldpay

African Fintech Firm Flutterwave Raises $35M, Partners With Worldpay

Y Combinator Flutterwave
Africa-focused fintech startup Flutterwave has raised a $35 million Series B funding round and has agreed to a partnership with the U.S. Worldpay platform. Olugbenga Agboola is the co-founder and CEO of Nigerian fintech firm Flutterwave. Image supplied by Y Combinator

San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech firm Flutterwave, which was named Y Combinator’s most valuable African company in 2019, has raised a $35 million Series B funding round.

Flutterwave plans to use the new funding to support its expansion across Francophone and North Africa while growing its market share in the 10 African countries Flutterwave operates in, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, according to a press release.

Founded in 2016 by Nigerian entrepreneurs Olugbenga Agboola and Iyin Aboyeji, Flutterwave provides transaction infrastructure for mobile payments.

Flutterwave has signed an agreement with global financial technology provider FIS to offer the Flutterwave solution as part of its Worldpay platform, Techcrunch reports.

London-based Worldpay is a payment processing firm. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange as Worldpay Group plc until the beginning of 2018.

In 2017, Worldpay was acquired by Cincinnati-based credit card payment processing firm Vantiv for $10.4 billion. Vantiv purchased Worldpay and took its name.

In 2019, FIS acquired Worldpay for $34 billion but the firms still lacked a presence in Africa. This partnership with Flutterwave gives Worldpay an established presence in Africa, Techcrunch reports.

That means that any Worldpay merchant in Europe or the U.S. can accept any African payment.

Flutterwave has raised a total of $55.4 million over 10 funding rounds, according to Crunchbase.

The company runs its operations center in Nigeria but moved its headquarters to Silicon Valley in 2018 to be closer to potential partnerships with investors and business leaders in the Bay Area.

Flutterwave claims to have processed 107 million transactions worth more than $5.4 billion in payments for clients including Uber, Facebook, Transferwise, and Booking.com.

In August 2019, Flutterwave signed an agreement with Alibaba, giving African merchants access to Chinese consumers.

A new partnership has also been announced with U.S. credit card company Visa which allows Flutterwave to issue Visa cards on its payment platform.

The $35 million investment in Flutterwave was led by New York City-based private equity firm Greycroft and San Francisco-based venture capital firm eVentures.

Other firms that participated in the investment include Johannesburg-based pan-African venture firm CRE Venture Capital, Visa, Silicon Valley-based fintech investor Green Visor Capital, New York-based VC firm Endeavor, and U.S. financial services provider FIS.

Flutterwave co-founder Agboola is now CEO of the company. He worked as a software engineer at PayPal and Standard Bank before launching Flutterwave alongside Aboyeji, a co-founder of Andela.

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In October 2019, Flutterwave was named by Silicon Valley-based accelerator Y Combinator as the most valuable African company that it has invested in. 

With an estimated valuation of more than $150 million, Flutterwave was the first and only African tech firm on the list and ranked 97th place out of 102 startups.

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