Thursday, 26 September 2019

FLUTTERWAVE - Disrupting The Future Of Online Payments Processing In Africa

When a formidable team of innovators rub minds together to create a product that would be industry-changing, it is called a disruption.

This is the story of flutterwave.
Are you a business owner looking to do business in Africa but managing payments seamlessly is a huge source of concern for you? Then read on . 
By now it's no longer news that there's disruption in the finance industry especially within Nigerian and generally on the African continent as a whole, technology is re-shaping how payments are made not just within Nigeria and Africa but in the world at large. One of such companies at the intersection of this rapid growth and innovation that has piqued interests is flutterwave.

What is Flutterwave? 
Flutterwave is an online payment processing company focused on helping and connecting businesses and their customers with secure and seamless payment experience.
Flutterwave works with banks across Africa by providing the needed technology and integrations for payments in local currencies with local debit cards, bank accounts or mobile wallets across several African countries. It was founded in 2016 by a team of ex-bankers, entrepreneurs and engineers and one notable member of the team is Iyinoluwa Aboyeji (a co-founder at Andela one of the African continent's most notable tech startup). 

Headquartered in San Francisco (which was stragetic to the company landing international funding) with offices in Lagos, Nairobi, Accra, Johannesburg flutterwave's service allows consumers to pay for things in their local currency. Before flutterwave, there was no universal payment method in Africa for businesses to accept and transfer payments which significantly created a gap for businesses as well as consumers. African businesses have a hard time accepting payments within the continent as well as outside. This digital divide also makes it difficult for companies like Google, Netflix,Amazon and Facebook to accept local payments from African customers.This was one of the motivating factors for one of the co-founders, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji to leave Andela ( a company he had recently cofunded for flutterwave, a passion to place Africa on the global digital and payments landscape). 

In 2017, it was able to raise over $10 million in a Series A round of funding. The round was led by Greycroft Partners and Green Visor Capital with participation from Y Combinator and Glynn Capital which flutterwave used to get more talents and build it's global reach. 

To date, the company has processed more than $2.5 billion in payments (as of 2019, flutterwave) across 100 million transactions.  350 currencies across 30 African countries are currently accepted by flutterwave and a small service charge is collected from businesses, which it shares with banks. It has partnered with 50 banks in Africa and 1200+developers build on Flutterwave for a company that's 3years old that's laudable of course having a highly skilled team is evidently a plus as well. To advance their goal as the payments platform to be reckoned with, the Flutterwave team has integrated other foreign payments API to theirs, making transactions between buyers and sellers globally even more seamless. businesses that use flutterwave include Uber, flywire, OjaExpress, Kikikamu etc

Lifechanging Innovations 
Products that have been developed by flutterwave as it charts frontier leadership within the fintech industry include:

Rave (flutterwave for business) is a payment service created by flutterwave that enables merchants accept global payments from card, bank accounts and USSD. It supports payment from 150+ currencies which is a breathe of fresh air for African businesses. Rave has no set up or monthly fees costs, you can start with right away and only pay for the transactions you accept Rave is now connected to Xero, Quickbooks, Sage and Zoho.

GetBarter (flutterwave for consumers) is a lifestyle payment solution launched by flutterwave alongside Visa. Visa cardholders will be able to make payments within the app and make online and mobile transactions by attaching their card details to their GetBarter app profile while non-card carriers can generate a virtual Visa card upon registration. GetBarter users can carry out their business transactions, pay utility bills and send payments to thousands of  anywhere Visa is accepted globally.

FlutterWave's Challenges
Amidst these rave reviews (pun intended), there have been some reservations like one's inability to securely capture a payment when you make use of your own forms, unlike its foreign peers: Stripe and Fattmerchant, that allow you to tokenize your credit card payments in a safe way, while allowing you to use your own forms. But it cannot be ignored, the unique abilities that Flutterwave possesses when it comes to payment on a continent where very few are in possession of credit cards is quite a feat on its own. 

  1.  2017 -  raised $10 million in a Series A  funding.
  2. 2018 - completed an extension of its Series A funding round backed by global payments companies like CRE Ventures, Fintech Collective, MasterCard 4DX Ventures amongst others and raised a total of $20 million.
  3.  2018 - Flutterwave received an award for the Best Payments Company at the Ghanaian eCommerce Awards ceremony in Ghana.
  4.  By the end of 2018 there was 550% growth in the customer base for rave(flutterwave for business). Also it had 26,000 users and counting.
  5. 2019 - Flutterwave partnered by Visa launch consumer payment product called GetBarter.
  6. 2019 - Flutterwave currently partners on its internship project for young developers IN Nigeria.

In all if you are a business looking for a way to create a seamless payments system within your business within the African continent then flutterwave is your best bet for a seamless experience.

By: Kadijat Modupeola Okeowo

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