Y Combinator recently released a list of 102 of its most valued companies as of October 2019, which had an astounding cumulative valuation of more than USD 155 Bn. Nineteen of all the companies had a valuation of over USD 1 Bn.
All companies had a valuation of at least USD 150 Mn, among them Nigeria’s Flutterwave, which ranked 97. This is in contrast to last year’s list, the first of its kind, which saw no African country appear.
Flutterwave is a fintech B2B startup facilitating online payments between African companies. Based both in San Fransisco and Lagos, it has so far raised USD 20.4 Mn in disclosed funding, an arguably impressive amount for an African startup.
Looking at its leadership, funding raised and partnerships could perhaps point out why the company has ranked among the most valued African startup for Y Combinator.
The startup was co-founded by current CEO Olugbenga Agboola, who has contributed to development of fintech solutions in financial institutions such as Paypal. His co-founder Iyinoluwa Aboyeji is the co-founder of tech giant Andela, although he exited Flutterwave last year.
Flutterwave came to its funding amount with 9 rounds. 2018 saw Flutterwave complete its Series A extension round, which came from Mastercard, CRE Ventures, Fintech Collective, 4DX Ventures, Raba Capital and other investors. The round has started in 2017, led by Greycroft Partners and Green Visor and joined by Y Combinator and Glynn Capital.
In July this year, Flutterwave partnered with Alipay, the digital wallet of China’s largest e-commerce platform, Alibaba in a move to foster payments between Africa and China and open up Africa’s market to Chinese buyers.
With operations in Kenya and Ghana the startup has been expanding to other African countries. In June this year, it expanded to South Africa after expanding to Uganda in July last year. It is possible that the startup might also launch operations in Asian countries.
The recognition is no small feat for Flutterwave. Apart from Paystack and Kobo360, it is one of the few African companies to graduate from Y Combinator, that have raised follow on funding.
Y Combinator is an American seed accelerator, from which companies like AirBnB and Stripe took off. Twice a year, the accelerator selects startups that receive USD 150 000 for 7% equity in the startups. They then move to Silicon Valley for 3 months to get support, mentorship, support and more funding.
Feature image courtesy: Samsung Business Insights