Home » Gbenga Agboola’s Flutterwave joins forces with Microsoft to boost financial inclusion in Africa

Gbenga Agboola’s Flutterwave joins forces with Microsoft to boost financial inclusion in Africa

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Gbenga Agboola

San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech unicorn Flutterwave, led by Nigerian tech billionaire Gbenga Agboola, has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft, the tech giant co-founded by U.S. billionaires Bill Gates and Paul Allen. This collaboration aims to empower at least 10 million small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) across Africa, with a particular focus on Nigeria.

The newly-forged alliance between Flutterwave and Microsoft is set to usher in a new era of financial services and inclusion in Africa, leveraging the vast potential of the financial technology (fintech) sector to drive economic growth and improve the daily lives of millions. Notably, this partnership follows a prior technology agreement between Flutterwave and the multinational technology conglomerate earlier this year.

Lillian Barnard, president of Microsoft Africa, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, emphasizing its potential to drive financial innovation and digital inclusion across the African continent. She stressed the significance of the partnership in light of the widespread challenges related to accessing financial services. 

Barnard noted that this partnership presents opportunities for growth and prosperity for many businesses in the region. She highlighted the sobering fact that approximately 50 percent of Africa’s 1.4 billion people remain unbanked, underbanked, or underserved. This situation, she asserted, cannot persist if Africa’s businesses are to flourish, making digital and financial inclusion imperative.

The partnership will leverage the Microsoft OpenAI platform and services to facilitate Flutterwave’s expansion to a global merchant base. Microsoft’s objective through this collaboration is to invest in and empower 10 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by 2025, providing them with the tools, infrastructure, and strategic partnerships to thrive.

Agboola, co-founder and CEO of Flutterwave, echoed Barnard’s sentiments. He expressed the company’s excitement in partnering with Microsoft to accelerate financial inclusion in Africa, underlining the transformative potential of Microsoft’s cloud and artificial intelligence technologies to expand their services across the continent.

Agboola stated, “We want to provide infrastructure that will make payments really simple for the average consumer in Africa, or anywhere in the world. We see an immense opportunity in this partnership, and we are committed to scaling our efforts to benefit the entire continent.”

Flutterwave, founded by Agboola in 2016, is at the forefront of transforming Africa’s payments landscape. With its headquarters in San Francisco and Lagos, the company represents a remarkable success story in the African fintech sector. Notably, Flutterwave expanded its operations into Rwanda and Egypt earlier this year and formed a significant partnership with IndusInd Bank Ltd., a leading Indian financial services provider.

The company has further unveiled plans to inject $50 million into the Kenyan market, demonstrating its growing confidence in securing an operating license in the country. These developments align with Flutterwave’s mission to revolutionize Africa’s payment landscape and expand into international markets.

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