African fintech company Flutterwave announced that it has raised $170 million in Series C funding, valuing the company at over $1 billion.

The round was led by growth-equity firms Avenir Growth Capital and Tiger Global. New and existing investors who participated include DST Global, Early Capital Berrywood, Green Visor Capital, Greycroft Capital, Insight Ventures, PayPal, Salesforce Ventures, Tiger Management, Worldpay FIS, and 9yards Capital. 

This funding round comes a year after Flutterwave raised a $35 million Series B and a $20 million Series A in 2018. In total, Flutterwave has raised $225 million and is one of the few African startups to have secured more than $200 million in funding. 

Hitting the $1 billion valuation means Flutterwave is the third unicorn coming out of Nigeria after fellow fintech Interswitch and e-commerce company, Jumia. What’s impressive about this milestone is how quickly Flutterwave has joined the small club of African unicorns – under 10 years. 

Founded by entrepreneurs Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Olugbenga Agboola in 2016, the company is present in 20 African countries, with a reach of over 33 countries on the continent. 

According to CEO Olugbenga Agboola, the company grew more than 100% in revenue within the past year due to the pandemic without giving specifics on numbers. This contributed to its compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 226% from 2018.  

With this new capital, Flutterwave says it will invest to accelerate customer acquisition in existing and international markets, as well as develop complementary and innovative products. One of such products is the newly launched Flutterwave Mobile, an app to help to accelerate e-commerce growth as a result of the success of the Flutterwave Store. 

Following Paystack’s acquisition by Stripe for more than $200 million last year, there were rumours of Flutterwave taking the same route. This Series C round suggests otherwise. 

What other plans does Flutterwave have? The African fintech giant is open to the idea of acquiring smaller players in the African fintech space and plans to go live in North Africa.

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