Silicon Valley based startup incubator, Y Combinator (YC), has listed Nigeria’s Flutterwave as the most valuable African startup to have come through its accelerator program.
The incubator had Flutterwave on its list of companies by valuation for the month of October 2019, published on Wednesday. The Nigerian fintech company is one of 102 former members of Y Combinator cohorts that are now worth over $150 million.
That group also includes unicorns like Stripe, Airbnb, Coinbase, Dropbox, Reddit, and Gitlab. The startups mentioned on the list have a combined worth of over $155 billion- a figure reflecting the success of the incubator at raising valuable companies.
Flutterwave, placed at 97 on the list, happens to be the only African company on it. This makes it the most valuable venture from the continent to have gone through the YC accelerator. North American companies dominate, with the region contributing over 80% of startups on the list. There’s some representation from Asia, Europe, and South America as well.
There’s something in all of this for YC. Twice a year, the incubator selects a number of startups from across the world, which it moves to Silicon Valley for a three-month accelerator program. It gets 7% equity in each company, in exchange for mentorship, access to networks, and $150,000 in seed funding that it grants them.
Flutterwave was founded in 2016, by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Olugbenga Agboola. It was accepted into the YC incubator in the same year. The company helps process local and transnational digital payments for African merchants.
Since its launch, it has processed over 100 million transactions worth more than $2.6 billion. It has served over 60,000 businesses in Africa and provides payment support for such corporations as Jumia, Uber, and Facebook.
It recently announced a partnership with Chinese payments giant Alipay, which paves the way for a digital payment channel between Africa and China. The deal opens up a market of 1 billion potential customers to Africa’s small businesses.
Other Nigerian startups that have come through the YC incubator include Kobo360, Paystack, Tizeti, and Kudi (now Kuda Bank).
Featured image source: ThisDay Live