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Emboldened FinTech firm Flutterwave targets expansion

Emboldened FinTech firm Flutterwave targets expansion

Africa-focused and San-Francisco-based FinTech company Flutterwave, started in 2016, has secured US$35-million in a fundraising round and has also announced partnerships with WorldPay and Visa ahead of expansion plans, according to a Reuters report.

The company is reportedly targeting expansion in Northern and Francophone Africa regions. In June 2019, ITWeb Africa reported that Flutterwave had announced its entry into the South African market - the ninth African country in which Flutterwave has a presence, following launches in Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

According to Reuters, Flutterwave will become the African payment provider for WorldPay's global clientbase.

Visa is said to have collaborated previously with Flutterwave on a consumer payment platform, Barter by Flutterwave, and will use the fundraising to bolster the service.

"... allowing it to issue physical and virtual Visa cards and process payments using Visa's networks," writes Reuters.

Flutterwave's executive management told Reuters that the objective with the investment is to increase its focus on enterprise clients, but also demonstrate the company's value to small businesses and how they can be used to scale operations.

2019 best for start-ups

2019 was the best year yet for investment into the African tech start-up space, with 311 companies banking a combined US$491.6-million.

This is according to the African Tech Startups Funding Report 2019, released by Disrupt Africa, which states that the number of start-ups that secured investment increased by more than 50% on 2018, while total funding grew 47%.

According to the report, the FinTech sector remained the most popular with investors with 77 FinTech start-ups raising a combined US$107-million, "though FinTech's share of total funding fell to 21.8% from 39.7% as other sectors, notably logistics, transport, e-commerce, agri-tech and e-health, enjoyed bumper years."

Disrupt Africa says this made 2019 a record year for funding, driven by a 61 per cent increase in the number of investors in African tech startups, which reached 261.

"Kenya and Nigeria were the lead markets in terms of total funding, securing US$149 million and US$122 million each in funding, though Egypt was the main market in terms of startup numbers, with 88 companies raising funding over the course of the year. South Africa fell to fourth in both regards," the company states.

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