Olugbenga Agboola is the co-founder and CEO of Flutterwave. Founded in 2016, the fintech company provides payment infrastructure for global merchants and payment service providers across different countries in Africa.
It is registered in California as a payment technology and infrastructure provider. In 2022, the company raised $250 million Series D funding, bringing its valuation to over $3 billion.
Despite this, the CEO still believes that they are a butterfly causing ripples in the ecosystem. With the size of their ambition, he believes there is still more success to come.
Here is his story as told told by WoK.
Education, Career and Honors
He received an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management. The Lagos-born entrepreneur has previously worked in product management at Google and at Paypal as an application engineer.
In 2020, Agboola was listed on Fortune’s top 40 under 40 list. In 2021, he was on Times Next 100 list. In 2022, he won the Business Insider awards, Tech Investor of the Year award.
Hon. Buhari also meted him with Nigeria’s National Honor Medal of the Officer of the Order of Niger (OON). This was given in recognition of his contribution towards the advancement of technology, innovations and economic development.
Flutterwave has experienced massive success since its inception in 2016. The company has attracted a lot of customers and funding.
In 2021, they raised US$170 million Series C funding. This was, at the time, the largest amount ever secured by a tech startup in the continent. It increased their valuation to $1 billion.
A year later, they raised $250 million in funding tripling their valuation. The same year, they launched a remittance service called Send and partnered with Afrosport Network to broadcast the Africa cup of nations. They also contracted Wizkid as their global brand ambassador.
The business went through some turbulent times in the country. The Central Bank of Kenya announced that the company was operating without a licence. On the other hand, the tech company said they began the license process in 2019.
They were also hit with allegations of money laundering. The court froze 45 of their bank accounts and 10 mobile money wallets.
With Kenya being its second largest market, this threatened to disable its operations within the country. Billions of shillings of their money was frozen.
The Asset Recovery Agency of Kenya withdrew the money laundering charges and a court released $51.9 million of their money.
The CEO believes they did everything according to the laws. While they welcome interrogation on their operations, he does not appreciate the media storm as a company is undergoing review.
Speaking to Business Daily, he said the company has been vindicated after an audit was conducted and they choose not to focus on the past.
“We are happy we are going through the process. We didn’t chicken out. We stayed the course even when everything was stopped. The current administration is very supportive,” he said.
They also managed to concentrate and build other markets at the time when their Kenyan market was undergoing difficulty.