Olugbenga Agboola, the CEO of fintech startups, has a workforce of more than 300 employees, dispersed between their headquarters in San Francisco and Lagos. His Company, Flutterwave, recently received much attention on Twitter. Like many other sectors in the Nigerian economy, the tech sector is witnessing a bubble inflated by the government’s failure to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs. And this is not only about increasing capital in the country.
It also creates a conducive environment for technology startups to thrive and become globally competitive. Such environmental challenges are becoming increasingly unmanageable, and these challenges are too big a mountain for governments alone to climb.
Olugbenga Agboola and his partner Iyinoluwa Aboyeji founded Flutterwave in 2016. Agboola is a former Google product manager and engineer for PayPal who oversaw the fastest-ever ascent to unicorn status for an African firm in less than five years.
The Company, a startup that provides data analytics and financial management tools for small businesses, has already raised millions of dollars in funding. The strategy was to use the startup ecosystem of Silicon Valley, where they are based. At this time, Flutterwave had handled millions of transactions worth billions of dollars. Forbes named it one of the world’s most innovative fintech companies.
The African startup has been described as one that is reshaping the payment industry on the continent through its cloud-based payments infrastructure service. They partnered with ten banks to connect Flutterwave’s API (application program interface) platform with the banks’ APIs, which helps businesses that are not big enough to have their bank accounts. The API helps banks manage their customer inflow while Flutterwave handles the backend operations, improving efficiency and reducing costs for the banks.
They managed to forge important alliances that Flutterwave is leveraging to connect the financial ecosystem in Africa and beyond. Olugbenga Agboola believed that he needed to secure a partnership with a big investment firm, Endeavor. Endeavor is an American investment firm headquartered in San Francisco. The firm is recognized for working with startups in East Asia and is the largest VC firm focused on impact investing.
Since its founding, the Company has been able to expand rapidly and has served clients in several countries across Africa and Asia. One of the main reasons for its rapid growth was that it had managed to secure partnerships with several banks in different African countries. With this, it is seeking another investment to continue its growth. Flutterwave’s unique advantage is its superior technology platform that improves data-led decision-making across the entire financial supply chain.
The Company has also been able to build alliances with various banks and plans to build a network that will see the Company grow in size and efficiency. Mastercard made a late 2018 investment to facilitate the Company’s expansion by making it easier to implement cross-border payments.
Flutterwave is now a strategic partner of MasterCard, and this means that it can use MasterCard’s strong global payment network for its customers to move money around the world. Their collaboration with VISA in 2019 resulted in the development of GetBarter, a money transfer, and financial management app. Later that year, Flutterwave was chosen by Ant Group as its partner for China-Africa payments.