Flutterwave is making fintechs look good
By Akpo Ometan
News of the recent raising of $170 million by the financial start-up Flutterwave is making fintechs in Africa look good.
Flutterwave which is linked to Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria, has Olugbenga GB Agboola, a consummate tech finance buff and trainer as its Chief Executive. It is valued in excess of $1billion even as total investment in the start-up is now a princely $225million.
Coming on the heels of Kuda Bank’s securing a N10m facility that positioned it as presumably Africa’s first mobile challenger bank, and reported moves by OPay, the fintechs unit of the Opera network, it is clear that the African fintechs space is catching some fresh vibes.
Indeed, astute country watchers say that irrespective of how up-front it is at the moment, Nigeria’s real story going forward may really not be the underperforming administration that is in the saddle at the moment. For them, it would rather be in its massive business possibilities that some more optimistic and forward-looking entrepreneurs may have already seen and are vigorously now letting down their sails to explore.
It is within this view that they situate deals and developments like the move by the Lagos State Government investment facility, Ibile Holdings and CIG Motors of China to commence the assembling of cars in the city. There is also the move by OPAy to launch wider into the African field and the Dangote Group’s push to commence local refining of petroleum products in the country.
The hope is that somehow the country would find its way around its political and security difficulties, and that even in the midst of it and after that, a new boom time will come even as it is currently beginning to show a glimmer of hope with rising oil prices. At that point, analysts contend. only those who had long left the shores will be in prime position to bring in the haul.
Says Proshare’s Teslim Shitta Bey: ‘Nigeria has always had bright chaps that create exceptional value, especially in fintech and digital technology. The problem is that of an older generation struggling to step outside their narrow understanding and interpretation of socioeconomic change. The Flutterwaves will thrive despite not because of government.’
Agboola says the firm is considering the possibility of listing in New York or a possible dual listing in New York and in Nigeria in the nearest future.