Flutterwave, 4DX Ventures co-lead $2.4m funding in Francophone fintech startup

Nigerian-owned payment company Flutterwave and 4DX Ventures, a pan-African venture capital firm are the lead investors in CinetPay’s $2.4 million seed fundraising round.

The funding round is expected to help the Francophone-focused fintech company expand its sales and marketing efforts across nine markets in West And Central Africa.

Founded in 2016 in Côte d’Ivoire, CinetPay provides a single interface for businesses to process over 130 different payment operators, from mobile money to credit and debit cards and e-wallets, reducing the need for merchants to spend months integrating with different systems in order to manage sales and revenues.

The company has so far processed over 30 million transactions for 350 active merchants in nine countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon, Mali, Togo, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Guinea.

Flutterwave’s relationship with CinetPay goes back to 2019. The investment comes barely weeks after Flutterwave acquired Disha and it is the unicorn’s first direct investment in the Francophone region.

“We’ve watched firsthand as thousands of merchants waste crucial time, even up to 6 months, getting their payment systems in order,” Marcial Monthe, CEO and co-founder of CinetPay said. “Now we’ve got the resources to market and sell our optimal solution across the region and we’re excited to ensure that all business in our region never misses a sale again. We have selected highly strategic partners as investors and are excited about the immediate next steps we take together in terms of simplifying and improving digital payments in Francophone Africa.”

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An equity stake in a Francophone-focused fintech company gives Flutterwave the opportunity to spread its footprint in the regional market. Olugbenga Agboola, founder and CEO at Flutterwave said the payment company is building the payments infrastructure for Africa which will make it easier for businesses to grow and expand their customer base on the continent and worldwide.

“Having collaborated with the CinetPay team for a number of years now, our shared vision to simplify payments on the continent further strengthens our commitments to working towards creating endless possibilities and experiences for all our customers,” Agboola said. “CinetPay is well-positioned for the next chapter of growth and we’re excited to work with the team to help scale the business to achieve maximum impact and value for its customers.”

4DX Ventures also said it has been keeping an eye on the Francophone region. This is driven by the growth of digital payment channels across the continent over the last decade. Two-thirds of global mobile money transactions are driven by users in sub-Saharan Africa, with 562 million registered accounts by the end of 2020, while the number of e-commerce users on the continent is expected to double from 281 million in 2020 to 520 million by 2025.

This trend continues with public institutions as well, with more bodies now offering digital public services, such as payments for ID cards, Visas and COVID tests, and school fees, which are often paid digitally. With such a multiplicity of payments required across different verticals from a growing number of sources, CinetPay is fast building its presence in the region.

“We’ve been tracking the Francophone Africa market for some time now, and have been impressed by Cinetpay’s ambitious goal to digitize payments across the region,” said Walter Baddoo, co-founder and General Partner at 4DX Ventures. “The company has demonstrated deep product knowledge with a differentiated offering and a strong brand with customers. We look forward to partnering with the Cinetpay team alongside our long-time portfolio company, Flutterwave, to help usher in the next phase of digital payments across the Francophone region.”

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