Picking data from a Flutterwave press release, there is a huge revelation: “serving more than one million businesses and processing more than 400 million transactions worth over $25 billion since inception.” That number means that we still have room for growth since in Nigeria, more than $300 billion moves from consumer to businesses yearly, according to a Mastercard/Fletcher School 2018 report.
If you average that number since Flutterwave inception, the trajectory becomes clearer: the online and API-based fintech penetration in Nigeria remains low. So, there are opportunities ahead.
As we examine that, Stripe reported that it has raised $6.5 billion in a series I funding round to put its valuation at $50 billion. That is a big effort considering the winter season of raising big funds remains extended. In an email from one of the two brothers who created Stripe, he wrote “It may feel as if everything has gone online, but 90% of purchases still happen in person”. Yes, money is still in the meatspace (physical).
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That explains why Moniepoint processes $12 Billion monthly (total payment volume) in Nigeria with its POS/agency playbook. That is $144 billion per year.
Add this – “According to research done by The Fletcher School and Mastercard, of the $301 billion of funds flow from consumers to businesses in Nigeria, 98 percent is still based on cash” – and you get the clear picture that money is still in the meatspace and not yet in the cyberspace. Yet, while we are transiting into the digital space, you cannot ignore where the money is at the moment.
The Press release
Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company, has been named to Y Combinator’s 2023 Top Companies List for the third consecutive year. Flutterwave’s inclusion in the list is a reflection of the company’s impressive growth as a major driver of commerce and economic growth in Africa, serving more than one million businesses and processing more than 400 million transactions worth over $25 billion since inception.
Flutterwave’s Founder and CEO, Olugbenga GB Agboola, said, “We are honored to be listed by Y Combinator on its 2023 Top Companies List. Flutterwave’s growth and success over the past year is a testament to the hard work and dedication of every single member of our team as well as the trust and support of our customers and partners. I am thrilled about Flutterwave’s future because we are at the forefront of driving the digital transformation of payments in Africa. We have already made significant strides in simplifying payments and increasing financial inclusion on the continent, and we are well positioned to continue to lead this transformation in the years to come.”
Y Combinator is the largest startup accelerator in the world. Y Combinator’s 2023 Top Companies List is divided into Private, Public, Exits, and Breakthrough categories. Listed and ranked by valuation, all of the 294 companies on the Top Private list are valued at over $150 million, with more than 90 worth more than $1 billion. Flutterwave reached a $3 billion valuation in 2022, making it the highest-valued startup in Africa.
Over the past year, Flutterwave added several world-class leaders to its team, including Oneal Bhambani (Chief Financial Officer), Gurbhej Dhillon (Chief Technology Officer), Mansi Babyloni (Chief People & Culture Officer), Emmanuel Efenure (Head of Risk, Africa), and Marshall Lux as Senior Advisor.
Numbers flying everywhere, but once you are online to initiate transactions, you start praying for success.
Even the CBN doesn’t know how much cash that exchanges hands daily in Nigeria, so when it printed some new notes, the system swallowed everything, and still asking for more…
Without formalizing substantial size of Nigeria’s economic activities, any number you see will continue to mislead.