He is eminently a visionary. He understood that before any commerce could flourish online in Africa, payment must be working. I have admired him from afar. Then, one day, a big bank flew me from U.S. to give a keynote speech in a program. I spoke and delivered a business sermon on banking, fintech, innovation and competition. Then, he took the podium. I was about going to meet some executive directors from the bank. As I walked out, I heard words like “partnership, cooperation, synergies”. I quickly ran to the big people, and excused myself to return to the talk.
There, I saw a wise man who deviated from the typical – “crush, disrupt, annihilate” – the banks. It was a great mind knowing that for fintechs to thrive in Africa for a long time, banks have to be empowered due to the current ordinances we have. When you come peacefully, you make friends and good things happen. He has built a category-king company on the ideals of those words, linking Alibaba’s Alipay, Worldpay, etc.
GB, Olugbenga Agboola, is the CEO of Flutterwave – Nigeria’s leading fintech. I know it is the leading because my team added it this week for our mini MBA program: they usually build matrix before making their selections. For the fact they picked Flutterwave, it is the king in that sector.
Flutterwave belongs to my paytech+ category: payment technology companies which build domain expertise across many sectors, with the payment services acting like an operating system in the relationships. Yes, they serve schools, churches, businesses, governments, etc, helping those entities improve their primary businesses. Think of Silicon Valley Bank in U.S: “ … “the U.S. bank’s entry, which was encouraged by Danish companies and investors, is seen as filling a kind of multifaceted funding-lending-consulting-networking-cheerleading gap that traditional local banks have a hard time closing.”
Now the big news – Flutterwave has raised $35 million series B funds. That is huge for an indigenous African company.
San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech startup Flutterwave has raised a $35 million Series B round and announced a partnership with Worldpay FIS for payments in Africa.
With the funding, Flutterwave will invest in technology and business development to grow market share in existing operating countries, CEO Olugbenga Agboola — aka GB — told TechCrunch.
The company will also expand capabilities to offer more services around its payment products.
In 2019, Flutterwave processed 107 million transactions worth $5.4 billion, according to company data.
The new round makes Flutterwave the payment provider for Worldpay in Africa.