Flutterwave puts IPO back on the table

Flutterwave, the prominent African fintech startup, is resolute in its intention to proceed with its initial public offering (IPO) plans, which faced setbacks in the previous year due to a range of controversies, including insider trading, sexual allegations, and regulatory hurdles.

Flutterwave’s co-founder and CEO, Olugbenga Agboola, expressed the company’s determination to pursue the IPO path, highlighting the potential to attract specific customers once public. Agboola noted that being a public entity could draw in large global clients with stringent compliance requirements and a need for a comprehensive global perspective.

Throughout the past year, Flutterwave has made significant additions to its leadership team. One noteworthy appointment is Marshall Lux, the former Chief Risk Officer at JPMorgan Chase, who joined Flutterwave as a senior advisor. This move aligns with the company’s strategic efforts to meet global risk management and compliance standards as it scales its business.

Since its inception in 2016, Flutterwave has secured over $450 million in funding from various venture capital firms, including Tiger Global, Visa, and Salesforce Ventures. During its latest funding round, a Series D round that raised $250 million in February 2022, the company garnered a valuation of $3 billion. Currently, Flutterwave operates across approximately 30 African countries.

Addressing the timing of the IPO, the company stated in February 2023 that it depends on various factors, including market conditions. Agboola reiterated this perspective in his interview with Bloomberg, acknowledging that current market conditions might not be optimal for an IPO. Lexi Novitske, a general partner with Norrsken22, expressed that Flutterwave, as Africa’s largest fintech player with broad reach across the continent, presents a compelling opportunity for public market investors looking to invest in Africa.

However, Flutterwave’s CEO contradicted the Bloomberg report in a June interview with Semafor Africa, stating that the company is not on the verge of going public. While acknowledging the IPO plans, Agboola emphasised Flutterwave’s current focus on deepening its market presence and meeting customer needs across the African continent.

Agboola recently affirmed the company’s aspirations, stating, “The goal is to make merchants across Africa, consumers across Africa use us more and know that we are the most reliable platform to use. Africa is huge, the potential is huge.”

Should the IPO plans face further delays, Flutterwave may explore additional funding avenues while continuing to pursue its acquisition strategy. A Flutterwave spokesperson conveyed confidence that public market investors will recognise the company’s growth, prominent market position, and esteemed customer base, potentially valuing these attributes at a premium compared to private funding valuations.

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