Flutterwave, the San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech providing gateway payments for the likes of Uber, Booking.com and Jumia, has raised $35 million in a Series B funding round.
It has also announced its partnerships with Worldpay, the payment processor owned by FIS, and Visa in a bid to target northern and French-speaking parts of Africa.
The round was co-led by New York’s Grey Croft and eVentures, with participation from first-time investor Visa, CRE Ventures, FIS, Green Visor and Endeavor.
The partnership will see the fintech become Worldpay’s only – though not exclusive – African payments partner, as well as issue Visa cards and process payments using Visa’s networks.
Visa’s investment is its first buy in to Flutterwave, with which it joined last year on a consumer payment platform now called Barter by Flutterwave, which allows individuals to make payments to one another across borders.
As part of the latest funding round, Flutterwave will scale up and expand that service, allowing it to issue physical and virtual Visa cards and process payments using Visa’s networks.
Created and headed up by former bank managers from JP Morgan, Nigeria’s Access Bank, Standard Bank Nigeria, and KPMG, the start-up provides business-to-business (B2B) payments services for those companies operating in Africa so they can pay other companies on and beyond the continent.
“We have built a technology infrastructure that is steadily being recognised as the bridge to connect the payment system,” Olugbenga Agboola tells Reuters. “We have been focused on enterprise clients and now we are going to deepen that and also show how we can help small business scale their business when they use us as their payment partner.”
Agboola tells TechCrunch that Flutterwave doesn’t “just want to be a payment technology company”, revealing it has expertise in education, travel, gaming, ecommerce and fintech too.
Launched in 2016, the start-up offers a host of application programme interfaces (APIs) which can then be customised by its in-house developers. Looking back at 2019, the fintech says it processed 107 million transactions worth $5.4 billion.
Agboola says Flutterwave wants to scale in all its current markets, which include: South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, the UK and Rwanda. The start-up recently did the payment integration for American rapper Cardi B’s December 2019 performances in Nigeria and Ghana.