Nigerian fintech giant Flutterwave recently announced its ambitious plans to invest a whopping $50 million in Kenya. This bold move signals the company’s strong optimism about the issuance of its operating license in the country. The announcement was made by Flutterwave’s Chief Executive and Co-founder, Olugbenga Agboola, during a recent media interview held in Nairobi.
Preliminary Approval and Anticipation
Agboola revealed that Flutterwave has received preliminary approval from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and is fully prepared for phased investments as soon as the official license is granted. This strategic move aligns with Flutterwave’s broader goal of expanding its payments and remittances business within the Kenyan market.
In anticipation of the impending license approval, Agboola emphasized the company’s proactive preparations for operations in Kenya. He stated, “We are looking at investing not less than $50 million. We are employing people. We are getting a new office and scaling up our infrastructure.”
High Hopes and Optimism
Expressing high hopes for the approval of the license by Kenyan regulatory authorities, Agboola added, “We are very optimistic about Kenya, and once we get the license, our team in the country is ready to deploy the very next day.”
Flutterwave currently maintains approximately 27 staff members in Kenya and has applied for both payment service provider and remittance licenses. These licenses will enable the company to facilitate money deposit and withdrawal in addition to electronic funds transfers.
Flutterwave faced challenges in Kenya last year when the CBK raised concerns about its operations in the country without prior approval. Additionally, it underwent investigations by the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) related to money laundering allegations but was subsequently cleared of wrongdoing.
However, Agboola emphasized that the company has emerged stronger from these challenges and is now fully prepared to explore opportunities in Kenya. He stated, “We have gone through a baptism of fire in Kenya, and we have come out. We have seen opportunities in Kenya, and we want to play here.”
Expanding Presence Across Africa
Securing approval in Kenya will complement Flutterwave’s existing presence in various African markets, including Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Cameroon, where it provides essential payment infrastructure solutions for merchants and service providers. Agboola highlighted that Flutterwave aims to target merchants across various sectors, including entertainment, hospitality, logistics, and health.
Flutterwave’s Strategic Partnership in India
Just last week, the company initiated its operations in India through a strategic partnership with IndusInd Bank, one of the prominent financial institutions in the Asian country.
In conclusion, Flutterwave’s ambitious investment plan signifies a promising future for fintech in Kenya and Africa at large. It also underscores the company’s commitment to providing innovative payment solutions that meet the evolving needs of businesses across diverse sectors.