African paytech Flutterwave is eyeing up expansion after securing $170m in a Series C funding round led by international investors.

The company, founded in 2016 by Nigerians and headquartered in San Francisco, specialises in individual and consumer transfers.

Growth equity firms Avenir Growth Capital and Tiger Global Management LLC led the round, which brings the company’s valuation to over $1bn and its total investment to $225m.

Other backers included Early Capital Berrywood, Green Visor Capital and Greycroft Capital, and PayPal.

Flutterwave plans to use the funds to execute an ambitious growth strategy, in a bid to empower SMEs and multinational brands by connecting the highly fragmented African digital payments landscape.

It will also use the capital to accelerate customer acquisition in existing and international markets, as well as develop innovative products.

Fragmented payments landscape 

Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, founder and CEO of Flutterwave, said: “When Flutterwave was founded in 2016, the payments landscape in Africa was highly fragmented so the goal was to build a pan-African platform that simplified payments for everyone.

“We look forward to increasing our investments across the continent and deepening the impact our platform has on lives and livelihoods as we take more businesses in Africa to the World, and at the same time continue to bring more of the World to Africa.”

Agboola also said that the company may consider a New York listing following the investment round.

Jamie Reynolds, Partner at Avenir Growth Capital, commented: “Flutterwave is at the forefront of innovation in payments technology, and we are excited to support the team as they build the last available payments infrastructure frontier in the world – connecting merchants and consumers intra-Africa and globally.”

The announcement comes after Flutterwave experienced a 226% CAGR growth in revenue between 2018-2020. It also comes a year after the fintech partnered with Visa and Worldpay, highlighting the growing interest in the African payments market.