Flutterwave, an African fintech firm that provides payment services, has become Africa’s most valuable tech unicorn with a $3 billion valuation and $250 million in Series D funding. The founder and CEO of the company, Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, is regarded as a visionary in the technology industry. However, according to Agboola, Flutterwave’s success can be attributed to its focus on customers rather than its cutting-edge technology.
Agboola stresses the importance of startups concentrating on creating value rather than simply advancing technology. While it may be tempting to hurry to market with a new idea and showcase superior, faster, or more expansive technology, it will not succeed unless it solves a problem or creates efficiencies. Technology needs a higher purpose beyond itself.
Olugbenga Agboola’s odyssey serves as a testament to his philosophy of elevating customer needs above technology. Agboola, an alumnus of the esteemed Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has worked with high-profile companies such as PayPal, Google, and Guaranty Trust Bank. His initial foray into entrepreneurship was Flutterwave, a company founded to address the dearth of cross-border payment services in Africa that did not hinge on banking institutions. Flutterwave resolved this issue by enlisting a dependable intermediary to affirm the veracity of payments, which, in turn, enabled merchants to dispense goods to customers sans SWIFT acknowledgments.
Flutterwave’s success was a byproduct of assiduously catering to customer needs rather than aiming for a $3 billion valuation. The company’s steadfast focus on its customer base proved beneficial as Flutterwave’s clientele became the launchpad for its expansionary activities. Flutterwave presently extends its services to small and medium-sized businesses and provides them with the capability to establish e-commerce shops across Africa at no cost.
Flutterwave’s novel payment service, Send, is its fastest-growing product and has cemented its position as Africa’s payment infrastructure. Agboola is sanguine about Africa’s payment industry and is convinced that Flutterwave is the catalyst that will transform the payment landscape.
To conclude, Olugbenga Agboola’s emphasis on prioritizing customer needs over technological advancements serves as a valuable lesson for fledgling businesses. By placing the onus on creating value, startups can develop products and services that cater to customer preferences, resulting in exponential growth and prosperity.