Pan-African FinTech startup Flutterwave this week announced that it has raised $35 million in Series B fundraising round along partnerships with Visa and WorldPay, an international payment processing company owned by FIS.
Launched in 2016, the San Francisco-headquartered firm specializes in individual and consumer transfers and also provides B2B payment services for companies operating in Africa to pay others on and outside the continent. Company data shows that Flutterwave processed 107 million transactions worth $5.4 billion last year. Its clients include Uber, Booking.com, Jumia, and Max.ng.
The fresh cash injection will enable the FinTech startup to invest in technology and business development to grow market share in countries it is currently operating as well as expand capabilities to offer more services around its payment products, Founder and CEO Olugbenga Agboola said.
“For us at Flutterwave, we have been focused on enterprise clients and now we are going to deepen that and also show how we can help small business scale their business when they use us as their payment partner,” Agboola told Reuters. “That’s a major goal for this investment for us.”
Hinting at a possible product diversification around its core payment services, the CEO was quoted as saying by TechCrunch that “We don’t just want to be a payment technology company, we have sector expertise around education, travel, gaming, e-commerce, FinTech companies. They all use our expertise.”
“If you are a charity that wants to raise money for cancer research in Ghana, or you want to sell online, or you’re Cardi B…who wants to do concerts in Africa…we want to be able to set up payments, write the code and create the platform for those needs,” he said further.
The latest big-name partnerships meanwhile come on the back of similar ones announced last year involving Flutterwave and Alipay – the payment arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba – in July to link digital payments between Africa and China as well as an earlier collaboration with Visa which led to the launch of Barter, a cross-border consumer payment product for Africans.
Although the agreement is not exclusive, the partnership with Worldpay sees Flutterwave become the African payment provider for the former’s clients worldwide, being its only partner in Africa. And after last year’s partnership, Visa’s investment in Flutterwave this time – it’s first in the startup – will allow the FinTech firm to scale and expand Barter, issue physical and virtual Visa cards and also process payments using Visa’s networks.
Recently, African FinTech firms have attracted huge amounts of global cash as they aim to facilitate and capitalize on Africa’s booming payments market, where Flutterwave has become a standout. “We have built a technology infrastructure that is steadily being recognized as the bridge to connect the payment system,” Agboola said.
Flutterwave’s latest fundraising round, which brings the company’s total investment to $55 million according to Crunchbase, was led by venture capital firms Greycroft and eVentures, with other large backers including CRE Ventures, Green Visor as well as new partners Visa and WorldPay FIS.