Nigerian e-payments startup, Flutterwave has closed a $170 million Series C to fund its expansion to North Africa. The latest round sees the company attain a valuation of over $1 billion, becoming Africa’s third fintech unicorn in the process.
Flutterwave joins payments giant, Interswitch and Egypt’s Fawry as the only fintech unicorns in Africa. Flutterwave’s Series C was led by New York-based private investment firm, Avenir Growth Capital and US hedge fund and investment firm, Tiger Global.
Following its latest raise, Flutterwave has now secured over $250 million in funding across 13 rounds. The fintech startup had closed a $35 million Series B in 2020, two years after raising $20 million Series A funding.
DST Global, Salesforce Ventures, Tiger Management, Greycroft Capital, Insight Ventures and WorldpayFIS 9yards Capital were among new and existing investors which also participated in the latest round.
The startup’s Series C financing dwarfs its total previous funding, which Crunchbase estimates at $64.7 million, by more than $100 million.
Expanding to North Africa
Buoyed by its huge $170 million chest, Flutterwave plans to venture into the North African payments space. Already present in up to 20 African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Tanzania, the company now wants to capture the North African market.
However, the Fintech will be facing stiff competition from Egypt’s e-payments unicorn startup, Fawry, which leads the way in North Africa’s fintech space with over 29 million customers.
Egypt possesses the most advanced fintech market in North Africa and the country could perhaps be Flutterwave’s next stop.
Apart from its North Africa expansion, the fintech company plans to leverage the funds to accelerate customer acquisition in its present markets, introduce new offerings and improve existing ones like Barter, where it has over 500,000 users.
Another Possible Exit?
Months after Paystack scored Nigeria’s biggest startup exit at over $200 million, Flutterwave CEO, Olugbenga Agboola has hinted at a probable exit for the billion-dollar fintech startup.
Like every other startup, we’re thinking about ways to create exit tools for our investors. So, a listing is very much in our plans, but for now, we’re focused on giving the best value to our customers.Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave CEO
An IPO could very much be in the works. While this may not happen anytime soon as Agboola’s statement suggests, the startup continues to be touted alongside the likes of Piggyvest as best poised to secure Africa’s next big startup exit.
Since being launched in 2016, Flutterwave says it has processed over 140 million transactions worth over $9 billion through its flexible API payments application for more than 290,000 businesses in Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and Europe.
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