Nigerian FinTech startup, Flutterwave, has announced that it has completed the extension of its Series A funding round. The extension of the financing received participation from new and current investors such as Mastercard, CRE Ventures, Fintech Collective, 4DX Ventures, Raba Capital, and others.
Flutterwave has not disclosed the amount of money raised during this extension but what is known is that the startup to date has raised over $20 million after previously closing a $10 million Series A funding round.
Although Flutterwave initially started off in Nigeria, it currently has its headquarters in San Francisco. As part of this latest funding, current Green Visor Capital Chairman & General Partner and former Chairman & CEO of Visa, Joe Saunders, will join the Flutterwave Board of Directors. More interesting though, is the announcement that co-founder and CEO, Iyinoluwa "E" Aboyeji, will be stepping down as CEO.
E for elections?
Depending on who you listen to, E's exit from Flutterwave was both planned and not planned. Olugbenga Agboola, who is Aboyeji's co-founder at Flutterwave, will be taking over from him as CEO.
"Today will be my last day at Flutterwave. After much thought and prayer I decided to step down from my role as CEO and focus on giving back to the startup community I owe so much of my success to. Just a little over 2 years ago in May of 2016, myself and my co-founders at Flutterwave started on this unlikely and amazing journey to build payments technology and infrastructure that could connect Africa to the global economy and usher in a new wave of prosperity across Africa. We knew it would be an incredibly difficult and intriguing mission but we never imagined we would have the kind of impact we did so quickly," wrote Aboyeji.
What is not clear though, is what E will be doing next (despite what he said about family and catching up on sleep).
Aboyeji has been, in recent years, quite vocal about politics in Nigeria. From criticizing and lamenting how Nigeria hasn't realized its potential to talking about how young people should participate in politics constructively. He has also been recently using the hashtag #changecantwait when commenting on Nigerian politics, like in this tweet where he said "Young people. It is time to fire the generation that led us to doom and hand over the keys to another generation."
With Nigeria's presidential elections coming up in 2019, could E soon be announcing his candidacy?
Or perhaps he will be joining the team behind the new political party led by Oby Ezekwesili?
At this stage, it is all speculation. Hopefully, he is not lost to Nigeria and the startup ecosystem. However, there is also this tweet by Jason Njoku, founder and CEO of iROKO, which I am still trying to make sense of:
Whatever it is, E has undoubtedly made an impact especially if you consider that he also founded Andela which he later resigned from within a few years to start Flutterwave. For Flutterwave, with operations already in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda, its trajectory is looking very good as it spreads its mobile and digital payments technology across the continent.
"I'll be catching up on sleep, spending time with my family and supporting and advising startups in our community (more to come on that) Everyone who knows me well knows what matters most to inc is my lifelong commitment to building the future of our country and our continent. As I take some time to rest and reflect on the incredible experiences I have had building two world class African success stories at Andela and Flutterwave - I am excited about the opportunities the future of our continent holds and I remain dedicated to supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs who will go on to build the next Andela's and Flutterwave's," concluded Aboyeji.