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$1billion valued Flutterwave raises $170m, eyes New York listing.

Nigeria-founded payments company Flutterwave has raised $170 million from investors to expand its customer base, pushing its valuation up to more than $1 billion.

Founded in 2016 by Nigerians and headquartered in San Francisco, the company specialises in individual and consumer transfers. It is Africa-focused.

The company’s CEO now said it could consider a New York listing.

Flutterwave is one of several fintech groups aiming to facilitate and capitalise on a booming African payments market driven by increased mobile phone use and faster internet speeds.

“We may consider the possibility of listing in New York or a possible dual listing in New York and Nigeria,” Flutterwave’s CEO and co-founder Olugbenga Agboola told Reuters in a telephone interview late on Tuesday.

Flutterwave on Wednesday said it had “secured $170 million from a leading group of international investors” to expand its customer base in existing and international markets and to develop new products.

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“The company’s valuation is now in excess of $1 billion. The fundraise brings the total investment in Flutterwave to $225 million,” it said in a statement, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic had accelerated the shift to digital payments in Africa.

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The fundraising round was led by Avenir Growth Capital and Tiger Global Management LLC.

“Flutterwave is at the forefront of innovation in payments technology,” said Jamie Reynolds, a partner at Avenir Growth Capital.

“We are excited to support the team as they build the last available payments infrastructure frontier in the world – connecting merchants and consumers intra-Africa and globally.”

Other backers in this funding round included venture capital firms Early Capital Berrywood, Green Visor Capital and Greycroft Capital, as well as U.S. payments company Paypal.

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The completion of the fundraising round, a little more than a year after Flutterwave announced a partnership with Visa and Worldpay, highlights the growing interest in the burgeoning payments market in Africa.

In October U.S. payments company Stripe bought Nigerian fintech business Paystack for $200 million and in late 2019 Visa bought a 20% stake in Nigerian payments company Interswitch, the main platform for the country’s business-to-business transactions.

*Reported by Reuters/NAN

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