Nigerian fintech company Flutterwave have planned a $50 million (Ksh7.3 billion) investment in Kenya as it pushes for a payments and remittances licence in the country.
Flutterwave Chief Executive and Co-founder Olugbenga Agboola said in an interview in Nairobi that the firm has received first-name approval from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and stands ready for phased investments once it receives a license.
“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. There is a lot to do in Kenya,” said Mr Agboola.
“We are happy we are going through the process [of approval]. We didn’t chicken out. We stayed the course even when everything stopped. The current administration is very supportive.”
The firm, currently with about 27 staff in Kenya, has applied for both a payments service provider and remittances licence that will facilitate money deposit and withdrawal in addition to electronic funds transfer.
Flutterwave ran into challenges last year after the CBK flagged it for operating in the country without approval. It also faced investigations from the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) over money laundering allegations but was later cleared.
“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,” said Mr Agboola.
Getting approval in Kenya will add to other African markets such as Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Cameroon where Flutterwave provides payment infrastructure for merchants and service providers.
Mr Agboola said Flutterwave will be targeting merchants in nearly all sectors including entertainment, hospitality, logistics and health.