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Innovation in Africa is advanced than other parts of the world, says Flutterwave CEO

Innovation in Africa is advanced than other parts of the world, says Flutterwave CEO
March 19
08:35 2021

Olugbenga Agboola, CEO of Flutterwave, a digital payment platform, says innovation in Africa is ahead of other parts of the world.

The fintech company recently raised $170 million from investors, pushing its valuation to over $1 billion.

Speaking at the Africa financial industry summit, Agboola said the boom in the fintech industry commenced with the development of M-Pesa in Kenya.

M-Pesa is a mobile money transfer service, payments, and micro-financing service, launched in 2007.

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It has since expanded from Kenya to Tanzania, Mozambique, DRC, Lesotho, Ghana, Egypt, Afghanistan, and South Africa.

“For me, M-Pesa is the biggest innovation in Africa. It is a shining light for everyone and that was the driving force around Flutterwave,” he said.

“For example, how do we connect this amazing payment type to other parts of Africa or the world? How do we make sure that Africa does not just exist in isolation? How do we make our payment system global?

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“What I call the fintech boom is what I call the awakening of the ecosystem to the fact that why would I do a wire transfer from Kenya to Nigeria and it might take a day or two? Because that money has to go from Nairobi to New York then to Lagos. Why?

“M-Pesa today is real-time in Kenya. I can do a transfer to my friend or mother and they get the money instantly. That tells you that innovations in Africa are actually way advanced than everywhere else in the world.

“The boom is about leveraging Africa’s payment infrastructure and building a layer on that and making it easy for small businesses, larger enterprises, and global merchants to appreciate the value of what we have built in Africa and use that to drive our trade and our growth.”

Flutterwave recently announced its collaboration with PayPal to allow PayPal users to pay African merchants through its “Pay with PayPal” feature.

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“In a nutshell, we’re bringing more than 300 million PayPal users to African businesses so they can accept payments across the continent,” Agboola said.

“So despite having the largest payment infrastructure in Africa, we want to have arguably all the important payments systems in the world on our platform.”

He said the company’s mission from the beginning has been to simplify payments, including global payments.

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