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BD Insider 190: Flutterwave wants to invest $50 million in Kenya

It will continue to manage the UK Global Talent visa scheme. We also discussed Flutterwave's plan to invest in Kenya.

BD Insider 190: Flutterwave wants to invest $50 million in Kenya
Fluuterwave CEO Olugbenga Agboola (middle) on a panel at Kauffman Fellow Africa VC Summit in Nairobi

Six months after it ceased operations, Tech Nation, the UK startup organisation that helps to bring thousands of talented tech workers to the UK—including from Africa, will relaunch next month during Birmingham Tech Week.

According to a report by UKTN, a leading UK tech news outlet, the official relaunch is slated for October 16. A month after the organisation closed down, Founders Forum Group acquired Tech Nation in an undisclosed deal. Media reports say that part of the plans for the acquisition includes reigniting some of Tech Nation’s programmes; UK tech sector reports, and managing Tech Nation’s Global Talent visa scheme.

In today's brief, we bring you a roundup of what happened this week and a dive into Flutterwave's plan to invest $50 million in Kenya.


📰 The Weekend Brief

Flutterwave set to invest $50 million in Kenya

The news: Olugbenga Agboola, CEO, and Co-founder of Flutterwave, has disclosed that the fintech plans to invest $50 million in Kenya. This significant move comes as a continuation of their expansion strategy into the East African market, initially announced in April 2023.

Why it matters: Flutterwave's journey into the East African nation has been riddled with several challenges. The company's accounts have been frozen multiple times in Kenya, first in 2022 over money laundering claims and again in June 2023 over a betting fraud claim. However, those claims have now been settled and the money frozen in the company's accounts has been released.

Currently, Flutterwave is expanding its office in Kenya which will serve as the headquarters for its East African operations. The fintech startup plans not only to open a new office in Kenya but also to bolster its infrastructure and workforce in the country. Currently, Flutterwave employs 27 individuals in Kenya, but this investment signals their intention to scale up significantly.

Know more: Flutterwave is also in the process of securing essential licences, including a payments service provider licence and a remittance licence in Kenya. These licences will enable the company to facilitate electronic funds transfers, money deposits, and withdrawals, enhancing its financial services offerings.

Last month, Flutterwave received name approval from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). Recall that in July 2022, CBK said Flutterwave [and Chipper Cash] were not licensed to operate in the country.


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🔍 What else happened this week?

  • A new CBN governor? Yesterday, Nigeria's President, Bola Tinubu announced that he has nominated Olayemi Michael Cardoso to serve as the new governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
  • Whogohost acquires Sendchamp: West Africa's largest cloud infrastructure company, Whogohost has acquired Sendchamp, a cloud communications provider, to diversify its suite of products.
  • Nigeria announces UAE-backed FX liquidity programme: Tinubu has announced that the country is working on a joint foreign exchange liquidity programme with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He disclosed this after a meeting with Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE president, in Abu Dhabi, on Monday.
  • “Mother-tongue e-books” for Nigerian kids: WhatsApp has partnered with NBA Star, Giannis to provide “mother-tongue e-books” for Nigerian kids through NABU, a digital publisher.
  • Interswitch now supports Google Pay: Nigerian fintech Interswitch has integrated Google Pay support on its payment gateway, allowing merchants to store payment details within the Google wallet.

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💼 Opportunities

  • For South African tech founders: South African startups are invited to apply for the 2023 Irish Tech Challenge where €10,000 and a trip to Ireland is up for grabs.
  • Job vacancy: Nigerian fintech startup, Moniepoint is hiring for several roles across its compliance, engineering, marketing and business operations teams.
  • For research and data experts: OCCRP is seeking applications for its new 8-week hybrid Research & Data Fellowship. Between 6-8 fellows will be selected to learn about OSINT, research, & data. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis till September 29. Apply here

Thanks for reading this edition.

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We were listening to Mohbad’s album; Blessed, while curating this brief.

Have a great weekend!

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