27-year-old Nigerian entrepreneur Iyinoluwa Samuel Aboyeji’s high hopes for Africa drove him to push for SiliconValley to fund a future where Africa is included, in 2016 he received an undisclosed seed funding which he used to develop Flutterwaves, a payments API that makes it easier for banks and businesses to process payment’s across Africa.
The service allows consumers to pay for things in their local currency; Flutterwave takes care of integrating banks and payment-service providers into its platform. Apart from these, Flutterwave also provides banks, enterprises and entrepreneurs with the underlying technology platforms to make and accept payments anywhere in Africa.
Prior to Flutterwave, the serial entrepreneur fondly called ‘E’ was one of the founders of Andela – a company training and connecting African developers, then later hiring them out to global tech companies. He left the company August 2017 to start up Flutterwave with a team of Africans ex-bankers, engineers and entrepreneurs.
Aboyeji has always had interest in developing innovative solutions for challenges facing Africa. He realised that more than half of the global population growth over the next 30 years are expected to occur in Africa so by 2035, the number of Africans joining the working age population would have been expected to exceed those entering it worldwide as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had projected.
He realised that there exist no universal payment method in Africa, and only 3% of Africans reportedly owns credit card making bank transfers and digital wallets very common which means that African businesses have a hard time accepting payments from visitors. It also makes it difficult for companies like Google, Netflix, Amazon and Facebook to accept local payments from African customers as it hinders the ease with which Africans connect with some of tech’s most beloved services. So he felt it was necessary to tackle the problem.
Flutterwave has offices in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa and till date, the company is processing more than $1.2 billion in payments across 10 million transactions, accepting 350 currencies across 30 African countries, charging merchants a small service fee which it shares with banks.