How We Attained Unicorn Status – Flutterwave Speaks on $1bn Valuation
Nigerian payments startup, Flutterwave, has attributed its recent unicorn status to its pan-African vision, great team and brilliant execution.
Business Elites Africa had reported in March that Flutterwave was valued at over $1 billion after securing US$170 million round Series C funding round, making it the largest amount ever secured by an African tech company.
Before the latest funding, Flutterwave had always had a sail-through with investors – it was one of Africa’s most funded tech startups. The company’s chief commercial officer (CCO), Ifeoluwa ‘IO’ Orioke admits this and attributed it to the company’s “decision to look at Africa as one piece as opposed to different countries.”
“What we decided to do was look at solutions that would integrate the different payment types, and find solutions that people would ultimately love. And from that we found product-market fit. Focusing on our vision is what has brought us here”, Orioke says in a podcast series by Distrupt Africa.
Founded in 2016 by Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave provides a payment infrastructure for global merchants and payment service providers across the continent. In August 2017, the company raised US$10 million in Series A funding, followed by an extension round in 2018. And in January 2020 it secured US$35 million Series B.
“It was less about the valuation, but more about investors that were very keen on helping us scale the business and helping us open specific doors, who really understood or were trying to understand the path that we have seen in Africa. What was unique was the quality of the conversations and the quality of the investors”, the CCO said.
Orioke added that part of what aided the company’s growth was the right team and how excellently they executed their strategies.
“It is the people that are carrying that mission and running with it. That’s what sets us apart. I think when we tell our stories investors are able to connect with us and connect with what we do”, he stated.
Flutterwave has already moved on from the media accolades that trailed its unicorn announcement and set in motion its next conquest. As Orioke says, “we are looking at adding more countries in the regions we already exist in”.
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