Launched in 2019 by Cregital, a Lagos-based creative design agency, Disha Pages gave users the tools with which to build their own one-page websites from the comfort of their smartphones, without worrying about technicalities such as coding or sorting out a domain name.
The product was an instant hit and got considerable adoption among creators and gig workers. Unfortunately, by a little over a year after its launch—at the peak of the pandemic—the company announced that they were shutting down the product.
“How can we help?”
As soon as the announcement of the shutdown went up, the Disha team were inundated with calls and messages from baffled well wishers, all of them concerned and wondering what they could do to keep the platform alive. These early conversations were tepid, nothing was concrete—until Flutterwave came into the picture offering a total buyout. The move by the payments giant, which earlier this year became a unicorn, is surprising as both companies operate in different spaces—Flutterwave in payments and Disha in the creator industry. One wonders, then, what the play is here.
In a call with Flutterwave’s head of product marketing, Onyedikachim Nwankwo, explained that while both companies may run different businesses, their company goals are aligned. “Flutterwave is about creating endless possibilities for everyone, and Disha’s goal of enabling creators achieve success and get paid for their work ties into Flutterwave’s larger mission of helping small businesses thrive.”
New look for Disha?
In a statement announcing the acquisition, Flutterwave says that the buyout will grow Disha’s base by providing users with the ability to make, receive and withdraw money from their Disha accounts in over 150 currencies and 34 countries across the world. Despite the acquisition, however, Disha will remain an independent company. According to Nwankwo, “Its original vision will be maintained.”
Rufus Oyemade, Software and Architectural Lead at Flutterwave, states that Disha coming under the Flutterwave family means its vision will be explored farther than earlier imagined. “Before now, when users created a Disha page and linked to a Flutterwave payment link, they got taken off the Disha site. Now, with the acquisition, users can create and accept their payments, all in one place.”
Flutterwave has always played in the creator space, having supported arts events like ArtX Lagos. Now, as the digital world opens up to creators getting paid for their work through innovations such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the payments giant is well positioned to help creators on Disha access global markets and further grow the global creator economy, which is estimated to be worth $100 billion.
Flutterwave became a unicorn in March after reaching a $1 billion valuation, and the company may be set to triple that value in the future to the tune of $3 billion by acquiring more funding.