Start ups

Silicon Valley-based payments firm descends on SA

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Silicon Valley-based based global payment solutions platform Flutterwave is entering the South African market this month.

Flutterwave provides a payment service for merchants, payment service providers and pan-African banks.

The Y-Combinator alumni, Flutterwave, was granted its South African Reserve Bank licence to operate in the country in April, and it is set to launch its online product RAVE, with launch events scheduled for Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.

Y-Combinator is an American seed accelerator, started in March 2005, and is consistently ranked at the top of US accelerators.

South Africa becomes the ninth African country in which Flutterwave has a presence, following launches in Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.

The payments platform claims to have processed over $2.5 billion for clients such as Uber, Facebook and Transferwise, among others.

Flutterwave says RAVE solves the challenge of fragmented payments infrastructure on the African continent by providing a solution which allows multiple payment channels to be made and received via a single integration.

It notes this distinguishes it from other payment solutions as it allows channel-agnostic payments across Africa, and around the world, through one platform which facilitates quick links to global markets.

In the process, RAVE provides a solution for one of SA’s greatest business challenges: access to markets, the company says.

It explains that allowing a one-stop solution for payments across multiple African countries and other parts of the globe means merchants are able to make and receive payments with ease.

This is in line with Flutterwave’s mission to, “inspire a new wave of prosperity across Africa by building payments infrastructure to connect Africa to the global economy,” it adds.

Flutterwave CEO Olugbenga GB Agboola says: “We are more than just a payments company; we are in the business of growing businesses.”

The firm was co-founded by the then 26-year-old Nigerian entrepreneur, Iyin Aboyeji, who also co-founded Andela, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s first major investment in Africa.

On 15 October 2018, Aboyeji announced his retirement from Flutterwave as chief executive officer.

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