Lagos-based and San-Francisco-based fintech Flutterwave has raised $250 million in a Series D round at a new valuation of $3 billion. The round comes about twelve months after its Series C funding round which raised its valuation to over a billion. The total amount raised by Flutterwave runs into $475 million.
What really does Flutterwave do? The fintech, founded by serial investor and software engineer Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, facilitates cross-border payments for businesses starting from SMBs to large businesses through its API. It also assists foreign businesses with permeating the African front and expanding on their continent.
Thanks to this new funding round, Flutterwave is now the most valued African startup. Opay and Chipper Cash formerly held the crown at valuations of $2 billion. As of March last year, when the company attained unicorn status, it processed 140 million transactions valued at $9 billion. The fintech has seen meteoric growth between its last round and now. Flutterwave which is currently present in 34 countries in Africa, now process 200 million transactions worth over $16 million. Users of its platform have also grown astronomically. As of March last year, it had a record 290,000 businesses on its platform but guess what! The figure has more than tripled to 900,000. These 900,000 businesses across the world use the platform to process payments in 150 currencies while using various payment options such as mobile wallets, transfers, cards, etc.
Although Flutterwave’s huge market share contributed primarily to the growth it experienced in the last one year, the company says that placing increased focus on SMBs, retail and consumers also contributed significantly to its growth. The fintech’s founder spoke that “It was deliberate from us because we saw the opportunity in the SMB space, and how they require the same technology pie the Ubers and Netflixes of this world use. Some of this is evident is how we expanded the Flutterwave Store, which allows small businesses anywhere in Africa to create an e-commerce shop online at zero cost scale”.
“We’re becoming what we wanted to be: the infrastructure for any kind of payments. There’s no sector you look at today in Africa that you wouldn’t see Flutterwave taking a piece of that and enabling merchants and consumers to grow and scale”, he added referring to the company’s growth and valuation.
Flutterwave which acquired Disha, a creator platform, plans to make more acquisitions that’ll help strengthen its position in the fintech space. “We plan to grow inorganically through acquisitions, and it will happen when we find a fit and see a company with the same core values or culture and goal of making payments simpler across emerging markets. So we still have plans for that”, the company’s CEO said.
Eyebrows have been raised about an IPO for the company but the company’s founder says “at the moment, no IPO. The goal is to continue to grow and scale. But obviously, we plan to be IPO-ready from a maturity perspective, which means continue to build the infrastructure, cross our Ts and dot our Is if we choose to go that route”.
Speaking about the funding and Flutterwave’s new valuation, Matt Levinson, a partner at B Capital said in a statement that “Flutterwave may ultimately build one of the most consequential fintech businesses in the world, enabling hundreds of thousands of merchants to transact online and connect Africa to the global economy”.