Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company, today announces it has secured USD $170 million from a leading group of international investors as part of a successful Series C round. The round was led by growth-equity firms Avenir Growth Capital (“Avenir”) and Tiger Global Management LLC (“Tiger Global”) with participation from new and existing investors.
Founded by entrepreneur Olugbenga Agboola in 2016, the company’s valuation is considered to be valued at more than USD $1 billion. The fundraise brings the total investment in Flutterwave to USD $225 million and is one of only a very small number of African fintech companies to have raised significant funds in a period of widespread disruption and economic uncertainty.
The new funds will allow Flutterwave to execute an ambitious growth strategy to become a leading global payments company, empowering SMEs and multinational brands by connecting the highly fragmented African digital payments landscape. Flutterwave will invest the new capital to accelerate customer acquisition in existing and international markets, as well as develop complementary and innovative products such as the newly launched Flutterwave Mobile, an app to help accelerate ecommerce growth as a result of the success of the Flutterwave Stores.
This fundraise comes at a time when Covid-19 has accelerated the shift to digital payments in Africa, which has contributed to Flutterwave’s exceptional revenue growth of 226% CAGR from 2018-2020.
Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, said: “When Flutterwave was founded in 2016, the payments landscape in Africa was highly fragmented so the goal was to build a pan-African platform that simplified payments for everyone. However our successes would not be possible without (1) Our amazing team of 300+ employees that work tirelessly to achieve our goals (2) The trust and support we have received from our investors and customers and (3) Regulatory bodies like the Central Bank of Nigeria which – under the leadership of the current Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele – has remained at the forefront of the significant efforts that are currently being made by African governments to create the enabling environment for technology, innovation and financial inclusion. This humbling support has created the backbone upon which companies like Flutterwave have been able to thrive.”
As we look to the future, our focus remains the same which is to stand by our 290,000 merchants across Africa every day as they strive to build their mom-and-pop stores into global businesses. We look forward to increasing our investments across the continent and deepening the impact our platform has on lives and livelihoods as we take more businesses in Africa to the World, and at the same time continue to bring more of the World to Africa.”
Jamie Reynolds, Partner at Avenir Growth Capital, commented: “Flutterwave is at the forefront of innovation in payments technology, and we are excited to support the team as they build the last available payments infrastructure frontier in the world – connecting merchants and consumers intra-Africa and globally.”
Scott Shleifer, Partner at Tiger Global Management LLC, added: “We are excited to partner with Flutterwave as they continue building a world-class payments platform. We were impressed by Flutterwave’s focus on customer success and believe the company is well-positioned for sustainable long-term growth.”
This latest funding round was led by Avenir and Tiger Global with participation from DST Global, Early Capital Berrywood, Green Visor Capital, Greycroft Capital, Insight Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Tiger Management, WorldpayFIS, and 9yards Capital. Avenir and Tiger Global have funded some of the brightest tech start-ups in the world including Current, Latch, Savage x Fenty, and JD.com.
Flutterwave was founded with the mission to create endless possibilities for customers and businesses in Africa and the emerging markets. It enables its customers to build customisable payment applications through its APIs. Flutterwave’s Series C fundraise comes on the back of an impressive run of 4 years in which Flutterwave reached over 290,000 merchants and over 500,000 registered Barter users, launched a range of new products and partnerships and expanded its infrastructure into over 33 countries.
RobinHood, WeBull, Others Trading Apps Hit 14 Million Users Globally, Twice More than a Year Ago
Over the past years, trading apps have revolutionized the way people interact with the world’s financial markets and stock exchanges, making it simple and easy to trade online, whether at home or on the go. The number of people using these apps to make investments and monitor market trends has grown constantly each year, but in 2021 it surged to all-time highs.
According to data presented by BuyShares, RobinHood, WeBull, Fidelity Investments, E*Trade and eToro, as the world’s top five trading apps, doubled the number of users in the last year to nearly 14 million as of July.
RobinHood Hit 7.3M Monthly Active Users, Double the Second-Ranked WeBull
Stock trading has been moving to mobile for quite a while, and tech companies have been working on well-designed trading platforms to provide top-notch service to a new, tech-savvy set of users. That shift first started in the United States, where Robinhood has attracted tens of millions of users. On the other hand, the European market is still fragmented, with a handful of stock-trading apps slowly expanding to new markets.
According to AirNow data, RobinHood is by far the most popular trading app in the world. In July 2020, the app had around 4.3 million monthly active users. However, user numbers spiked in the first half of 2021, reaching a peak of over 9 million in May 2021. In July, around 7.3 million people worldwide used RobinHood to trade and make investments, 70% more than in the same month a year ago.
With 2.7 million monthly active users, or twice less than the leading RobinHood, WeBull ranked as the second most popular trading app globally. However, statistics show WeBull witnessed the biggest growth, with the number of users surging by 265% year-over-year.
Fidelity Investments ranked third with 1.8 million active users, 38% more than in July 2020. Morgan Stanley’s E*Trade and eToro followed, with 1.1 million and 1 million monthly active users, respectively.
RobinHood Reached 11.9M Downloads in 2021, Close to Other Top Four Apps Combined
Stock trading app developers are constantly innovating and adding new features to make portfolio management easier to do on the go. For example, many of the latest-gen trading platforms now feature AI-based tools to help users evaluate investment risks.
Besides having the largest user base, RobinHood also witnessed the biggest number of downloads this year. In the seven months of 2021, the trading app was downloaded 11.6 million times, close to the other top four apps combined, with almost one-third of all downloads happening in January.
WeBull was downloaded 5.6 million times in this period, 2.3 million more than the third-ranked eToro. Fidelity Investments and TD Ameritrade round the top five list, with 1.9 million and 1.2 million downloads, respectively.
Verve Partners OBMEET To Give Cardholders 50% Discount
In furtherance of its drive to strengthen the payment landscape across the globe, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, Verve, has announced its partnership with OBMeet, a video conferencing and networking company, to give Verve cardholders a 50% discount on the platform.
The discount which is currently running till December 31, 2021 avails Verve cardholders added value for the services they enjoy on the OBMeet platform.
With this collaboration, Verve cardholders accessing the OBMeet no longer have to worry about the incidental challenges associated with such video conferencing and multi-streaming platforms, such as complex payment structure, capital flight, inconsistent exchange rates etc.
Speaking on the discount, Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Interswitch Group, said the partnership with OBMeet to reward Verve cardholders with a 50% discount on the selected packages is a demonstration of Verve’s commitment to reward its cardholders’ loyalty.
Eromosele said the firm is stirred to partner with OBMeet because they share a similar vision of delivering an invaluable experience to their esteemed customers.
She explained that the partnership will guarantee Verve cardholders faster and safer payment experiences on the OBMeet platform.
She said: “Consistent with our mantra of being ‘the rewarding way to make payments’, Verve cardholders are not only rewarded with seamless, faster, and convenient payment solutions, but they also enjoy more rewards in discounts as much as 50% on the OBMeet platform, from now till December 31, 2021.”
Vincent Ogbunude, Divisional Head of Verve, commented on the firm’s commitment to delivering top-notch digital payment solutions to Nigerians.
“It is no gainsaying that Verve has consistently delivered innovative payment solutions to Nigerians and the Africa continent.
“We are continuously seeking opportunities to ease payment pain points for Verve cardholders as well as Africans and this partnership with OBMeet is a testament to that commitment.
“We are confident that our cardholders will enjoy seamless payment on the OBMeet platform and the 50% discount offer is added value to the invaluable payment experience the Verve card provides,” he said.
Speaking on the partnership, Emmanuel Gabriel, founder of OBMeet stated that the collaboration is instrumental for companies, institutions, content creators, Small and Medium Enterprise, entrepreneurs to overcome the many challenges of capital flight, complex payment systems inherent in accessing video conferencing and multistreaming platforms.
He said: “Our focus is to give everyone around the world the opportunity to connect, build ideas and express themselves in a new way.
We are focused on creating economic value via the OBMeet communication platforms which bridge communication gaps and language barriers around the world.”
Flutterwave, MTN Partner on Mobile Money
Flutterwave, Africa’s payment technology company, has announced a mobile money partnership with MTN Group, that will allow businesses that are integrating Flutterwave in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia, to receive payments via MTN Mobile Money, called MoMo.
MTN MoMo is a fintech platform providing consumers and businesses with an electronic wallet, enabling electronic transfers and payments as well as access to digital and financial services.
At the end of June 2021, MTN MoMo had 48.9 million active users and 581,514 merchants. MoMo enables businesses to accept and make payments within the mobile money ecosystem. The new partnership will enable Flutterwave to offer MTN Mobile Money as a payment method to its business customers.
In recent years, Africa has witnessed an explosion in mobile penetration as smartphone adoption has risen rapidly. According to the GSMA, this year, Africa would hit the half a billion mark of unique mobile subscribers and the continent would reach 50 per cent subscriber penetration by 2025. The sub-Saharan Africa alone is responsible for more than 45 per cent of the world’s mobile money accounts with the number of account holders exceeding half a billion by 2020, as shared on Statista.
Through the partnership, MTN and Flutterwave will positively contribute to this trend by increasing mobile money usage and penetration in Africa to improve local economies and livelihoods as well as create opportunities for individuals and businesses across the continent.
Commenting on the partnership, Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, Olugbenga Agboola, said: “Africa has one of the highest growth rates for mobile money adoption and e-commerce in the world. It makes sense that we help provide a seamless payment method to support and ensure African businesses reap the full benefits of the e-commerce boom in the region. Our goal has always been to grow a new wave of prosperity in Africa by creating more avenues for businesses in Africa to accept payments. With this partnership, we can achieve this while creating endless possibilities for our customers.”
Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer at MTN, Serigne Dioum, said: “As we progress on our journey to becoming the largest fintech platform in Africa, we will empower millions of businesses to embrace e-commerce in our markets to accept digital payments from MoMo consumers. We believe this is an enabler to accelerating digitized payments in Africa. Building strong ecosystems through partnerships is central to our platform strategy and we will continue to invest in expanding the reach of our platform to consumers and businesses in Africa.”
The new partnership will further expand on Flutterwave’s previous collaboration with MTN, beyond Uganda and Rwanda, with the potential of deepening adoption of digital payments and e-commerce in Africa, a sector expected to reach $29 billion by 2022, according to Statista.
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