Fintech unicorn Flutterwave will approach the equity market in the U.S. to tap funding enabling it to break into new markets in Africa as well as widen its strides in countries it currently operates in, Bloomberg reported, citing an emailed statement from the start-up.
The move comes approximately a year and a half after the chief executive and co-founder, Olugbenga Agboola, first disclosed the ambition to seek a listing in New York or a possible dual listing in New York and Nigeria.
Flutterwave, based in San Francisco, California, is Africa-focused and is considering flotation to be followed by listing on Nasdaq, Premium Times reports.
The firm announced Thursday it has received a switching and processing license from the Central Bank of Nigeria. That gives it permission to directly facilitate card transactions, operate agency banking, handle fund transfers between fintechs and banks, and conduct other payment services.
Still growing rapidly, and attracting outside venture capitalists intent on harnessing the potential of the tech ecosystem of Nigeria’s dominantly youthful population, start-ups in Africa’s biggest economy and most populous country are entering a new phase of capital raising by way of public offering.
Tizeti, an internet service provider startup whose operation is enabled by solar-powered towers, said this week it is setting sights on an initial public offering combined with debt to source $50 million for expansion into 10 more Nigerian states, Ghana and Ivory Coast.
It mirrors the Nigerian Exchange’s push to attract startups to a new board to be named “technology board” and fashioned after tech-heavy Nasdaq.
“In that board, there are lots of what you might call structural challenges, that will preclude tech companies from listing, which we look to address – things around the rules, the barriers, the entry for traditional companies, the governance requirements and the like,” NGX CEO Temi Popoola said in February.
The company has been in the eye of the storm in recent time following allegations of malfeasance including staff bullying in Nigeria, claims of involvement in money laundering in Kenya and indictment by the Central Bank of Kenya that it does not have a license to operate in the country. The company denies wrongdoing.