After a year filled with multiple media disputes, Flutterwave, the most valuable startup in Africa, is gearing up for an initial public offering (IPO), as reported by Bloomberg, quoting the company’s CEO. Even with challenges like accusations of fraud, potential security issues, and a challenging IPO environment in the U.S., where it’s registered and plans to debut, Flutterwave aims to gain more traction in Africa with its imminent IPO.
Currently, specifics about the fintech giant’s $3 billion IPO plans remain unclear, even though rumors suggest they’ve been contemplating going public for more than a year, possibly delayed due to fraud and harassment claims.
Founded in 2016, Flutterwave has seen impressive growth, establishing its framework in over 34 African nations.
Throughout its journey, the company has garnered substantial investments from notable venture capital firms such as Tiger Global Management LLC, B Capital Group, and Y Combinator. With a funding total surpassing $500 million, as reported by Crunchbase, Flutterwave’s valuation has soared to an impressive $3 billion.
However, the path to its anticipated initial public offering (IPO) is challenging. Foremost among these challenges is the intricate matter of the U.S. IPO market. Statista’s data reveals a significant decline in IPO activity in the preceding year, recording merely 181 IPOs in 2022 – an astonishing 82.5% decrease from the record-breaking 1,035 IPOs in 2021.
Complicating matters further, Flutterwave, a company that already caters to American heavyweights like Uber and Netflix, is now tasked with navigating the intricate realm of American public sentiment. This entails considering the viewpoints of both institutional and individual investors, who will closely analyze the firm’s governance and organizational ethos.
Noteworthy is Flutterwave’s involvement in a series of allegations starting in April 2022. These allegations encompass mismanagement of funds, leading to account suspensions in Kenya, instances of sexual harassment, operational mishaps, and breaches in security. Despite these challenges, the company is diligently working to distance itself from unfavorable media coverage and to forge ahead with its expansion endeavors.
Up to this point, Flutterwave has managed to resolve some of its fraud and regulatory issues while venturing into fresh markets. Noteworthy accomplishments encompass obtaining licenses in Rwanda to facilitate cross-border money transfers and acquiring Payment Services Provider and Payments Facilitator licenses in Egypt.
In addition, the company has bolstered its team by enlisting notable figures like Oneal Bhamban, a former V.P. at American Express, who now serves as its Chief Financial Officer, and Gurbhej Dhillon, formerly an M.D. at Goldman Sachs, now positioned as its Chief Technology Officer. These strategic appointments underscore the company’s concerted efforts to propel its IPO ambitions.
In conjunction with these tactical manoeuvres, Flutterwave has also recently established crucial partnerships to drive its growth. Notable collaborations include ventures with Token.io, Audiomack, and Microsoft Azure. These partnerships underline the company’s steadfast commitment to its ongoing expansion initiatives.