While GB was unclear about a timeline for an IPO for Flutterwave, he said the company’s current goal is digital market expansion.
At the Kauffman Fellows event held in Nairobi this week, TechCabal spoke with Olugbenga Agboola, the CEO of Flutterwave. This publication shared several questions for him, including the state of its products, such as Barter and Send app, and we are posting them here verbatim to fully understand what the company has been up to and what it has planned for the coming days.
You talked about Flutterwave 3.0 a few years ago, which included several business segments. How is Flutterwave structured today, and what are your business segments?
GB: Flutterwave 3.0 was our evolution into a suite of products that would solve actual problems for consumers, Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) and companies in Africa. We are looking at problems and basically identifying solutions. For example, when we launched the Send app, a remittance product, we made sending money anywhere in the world easier. But that is one problem but we also launched Swap. Swap is already in Nigeria and helps an average Nigerian who wants to swap currencies, from Naira to dollar, to be able to do so directly.
And that’s our business. We help the average African business, both SMBs and enterprises or global corporations, to scale. 3.0 is when we structured the company into a suite of products where we can aggressively solve problems facing Africans in the African market.
What markets/countries does Flutterwave currently operate in? And what are your key markets?
GB: So, in Kenya, we are a tech platform. We have partners in Kenya that we process payments with, like Uber. We have seen an opportunity in Kenya and are scaling here. Our scaling is in line with regulations and all the required processes. Our primary markets are Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Kenya. Our strategic markets are Rwanda, Ghana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal.
What is your fastest-growing business segment and country at the moment?
GB: Literally everything is growing very fast. Send app is growing at over 100%, and our portfolio of business is growing massively. So we have been growing massively YoY now.
Barter is Flutterwave’s consumer-facing product focused on remittances, but you’re pushing a separate international payments app with a sleek design and faster payouts. Is Flutterwave going to deprecate Barter?
Well, we used to have a product called Barter. However, currently, it is in an upgrade phase. We want to build a new product to make Barter even more efficient, so we are working on that.
How is Flutterwave Send performing? And what growth metrics can you share?
Send app is growing at over 100 percent. Literally. It has been around, and we launched a new corridor from India to Africa and vice versa.
Flutterwave plans to list on the stock market. Considering the market momentum in recent weeks, what signal will you consider before finalizing your IPO plans? Ballpark on the same?
GB: When it is time, we will let you know for sure. Currently, we focus on customers, revenue, experience, and digital market expansion.
Flutterwave dismissed the allegations of fraud in Kenya, yet overall, statements from the regulator show the company faces a somewhat hostile environment in the country. How much progress has Flutterwave made to strengthen its relationship with the anti-graft agency and the CBK?
GB: The said issues have been addressed, even the ARA (Assets and Recovery Agency) issue, which is good. This is just proof of the proper governance within the company. ARA would not have found us free of every charge if we didn’t have a great infrastructure. We also scaling the team here with Leon Kiptum ( SVP of East Africa) here in Kenya. We are scaling the company and bringing the right people on board, and we are doing everything to scale and grow.
Congrats on receiving the name approval in Kenya from the CBK.
GB: Yes, it is a step towards getting the licence. The first step is getting name approval, and that has been done, which is a very massive step. So very very soon, we should be having a licence.
TC: Bosun Tijani, the Nigerian minister, is a prominent name in the Nigerian/African tech industry. How important is his ministerial selection to Flutterwave and the Nigerian tech industry?
GB: Bosun’s appointment is amazing for Nigeria and the tech ecosystem. He has the experience and has walked the walk. On the government side, building policies is the best thing that can happen in Nigeria, and the country is very lucky to have Bosun. And I am very proud to have someone who has worked with us before.
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