African fintech Flutterwave triples valuation to over $3B after $250M Series D

African fintech Flutterwave has raised $250 million in a Series D round that tripled the company’s valuation to over $3 billion in just twelve months.

In March 2021, the San Francisco-headquartered and Lagos-based startup raised $170 million in a Series C round from Tiger Global and Avenir at a valuation of $1 billion. The latest financing, which confirms a Bloomberg scoop from October, brings Flutterwave’s total raise since its inception six years ago to $475 million (it raised a $35 million Series B in 2020 and a $20 million Series A in 2018).

At $3 billion, Flutterwave is currently the highest valued African startup, surpassing the $2 billion valuation set by SoftBank-backed fintech OPay and FTX-backed cross-border payments platform Chipper Cash last year.

Led by founder and CEO Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, Flutterwave facilitates cross-border payments transactions of small to large businesses in Africa via one API. The company also helps businesses outside Africa expand their operations on the continent. Some of its international clients include, Flywire and Uber.

Flutterwave has seen astronomical growth since TechCrunch covered its unicorn round last year. At the time, the payments company said it processed 140 million transactions worth over $9 billion. A year later, the African payments giant, with an infrastructure reach across 34 countries on the continent, now processes 200 million transactions worth more than $16 billion.

The number of businesses using its platform has also increased. In March 2021, it was 290,000; now, 900,000 businesses globally use Flutterwave to process payments in 150 currencies and across different payment modes: local and international cards, mobile wallets, bank transfers and its consumer product Barter.

While Flutterwave’s market share in enterprise payments has primarily been responsible for this growth, diversifying into fintech products for small and medium businesses, retail and consumers also played a part.

“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,” Agboola told TechCrunch. “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.”

The Flutterwave Store, launched in April 2020, was revamped last November to Flutterwave Market. The e-commerce solution has grown to over 30,000 merchants that consumers can shop from various products. In December, Flutterwave launched Send, a remittance service that allows users to send money to recipients to and from Africa.

Customers use Send — which Agboola called “Flutterwave’s fastest-growing product” — mainly to pay for family support, gifts and tuition, the company told TechCrunch. Send has processed 4,729 transactions, with total payments volume crossing $3.59 million in its first full month of launch. The majority of its customers come from Nigeria, the U.S. and the U.K.

“We’re becoming what we wanted to be: the infrastructure for any kind of payments,” Agboola said. “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.”

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Source : techcrunch

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