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Flutterwave attains unicorn status, raises $170m in Series C

Nigerian e-payments startup has raised $170 million in Series C and is now valued at over a billion dollars.

Flutterwave, a Nigerian e-payments startup, has raised a $170 million Series C round to fund its expansion into North Africa. The latest round sees the company valued as a unicorn - a valuation of over $1 billion - becoming the third fintech unicorn in Africa, in the process.

Flutterwave joins an exclusive class that includes Interswitch and Egypt's Fawry as the only fintech unicorns in Africa.

The Series C round was led by New York-based private investment firm, Avenir Growth Capital, and US hedge fund and investment firm, Tiger Global.

Creating an African Fintech Giant — Olugbenga Agboola, Co-Founder & CEO of  Flutterwave | by Miguel Armaza | Wharton FinTech | Medium
Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave CEO. Image Source: TechNext

Flutterwave, following its latest raise, 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.

PayPal, 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 Series C financing dwarfs the startup's previous funding, estimated at $64.7 million by Crunchbase, by more than $100 million.

North Africa's Expansion

Flutterwave, with the new funding, plans to venture into the North African payments space. The startup is already present in about 20 African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Tanzania. Now, 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.

The company, apart from its North Africa expansion, 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 Potential Exit?

According to Flutterwave CEO, Olugbenga Agboola, the starup like every other startup, is thinking about ways to create exit tools for their investors. So, a listing is very much in their plans. However, the focus for now, is giving the best value to their customers.