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Flutterwave – Nigerian payments startup raises $170m, now valued at over $1bn

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FlutterwaveNigerian payments startup, has closed a whooping sum of One Hundred and Seventy Million Dollars ($170m) Series C funding round, the largest amount ever secured by an African tech startup and one that gives it a “unicorn” status with a value of over One Billion ($1bn) Dollars.

As reported also, by various online tech platforms, including Tech Crunch and Disrupt Africa, Flutterwave is one of several fintech groups aiming to facilitate and capitalise on a booming African payments market driven by increased mobile phone use and faster internet speeds.

Launched in 2016 and  headquartered in San Francisco, Flutterwave builds modern payments technology and infrastructure for Africa to enable people and businesses to connect with the global economy.

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Flutterwave has an active presence in 11 African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, and at the time of its Series B just over one year ago had processed 100 million transactions valued at over $5.4bn for global leaders including Uber and Booking.com.

The funding is for expansion into new markets.

“Its solution enables banks and merchants to replace multiple payment integrations with one simple API, which enables processing of any form of payment anywhere in Africa,” Disrupt Africa reports.

The startup is one of Africa’s most-backed, raising $10m in Series A funding in August 2017, an extension round in 2018, and a $35m Series B in January of last year.

It has now added to that funding with a record-breaking Series C round worth $170m, which takes the value of the company to over $1bn.

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Speaking with news outlets, Flutterwave’s CEO and co-founder Olugbenga Agboola, said, “We may consider the possibility of listing in New York or a possible dual listing in New York and Nigeria.”

US-based investment firms Avenir Growth Capital and Tiger Global led the round, which also includes new and existing investors, including DST Global, Early Capital Berrywood, Green Visor Capital, Greycroft Capital, Insight Ventures, PayPal, Salesforce Ventures, Tiger Management, and WorldpayFIS and 9yards Capital.

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We’re not aware of currency printing – Finance ministry CBN

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We’re not aware of currency printing – Finance ministry CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria – CBN, has denied knowledge of claim that Nigeria printed billions of naira last month to cushion its financial trouble.

This came, after the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, alleged that Nigeria printed Sixty Billion Naira, N60bn to augment what the three tiers of government shared in March.

Obaseki reportedly stated on Thursday that Nigeria was in a huge financial trouble, alleging that the Federal Government printed N60bn in March as part of federal allocation last month.

The Edo governor also expressed worry over the country’s increased borrowing, saying it was wrong to continue borrowing without a tangible plan for debt repayment.

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When contacted to comment on the development, the spokesperson of CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, told one of our correspondents that he was not aware of any N60bn that was printed.

“I am not aware of that (N60bn printed by government,” he told our correspondent on Saturday.

Similarly, when contacted to speak on the N60bn that was allegedly printed in March 2021, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning said enquiries on the matter should be directed to the governor who made the allegation.

The media aide to the finance minister, Yunusa Abdullahi, said the Edo State governor or the CBN should be contacted.

“Please direct your questions to the governor who made the claim or the CBN,” he told our correspondent.

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NSE resumes from holidays with N78bn loss

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NSE resumes from holidays with N78bn loss

The Nigerian stock market resumed after the Easter public holidays on Tuesday with a loss of 0.39 per cent due to persistent bearish trend.

Specifically, the All-Share Index lost 150.13 points or 0.39 per cent to close 38,766.61 compared with 38,916.74 achieved on Thursday.

Also, the market capitalisation lost N78bn to close at N20.28tn from N20.361tn achieved before the break on Thursday.

The market loss was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are Guinness Nigeria, MRS Oil Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, BUA Cement and Aluminium Extrusion Industries.

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Market sentiment turned negative with 21 laggards, relative to 14 gainers.

MRS Oil led the losers’ chart in percentage terms by 9.92 per cent to close at N10.90 per share.

Aluminium Extrusion Industries followed with a decline of 9.88 per cent to close at N7.30, while Consolidated Hallmark Insurance shed 9.38 per cent to close at 29k per share.

Sterling Bank shed 8.65 per cent to close at N1.69, while Guinness Nigeria depreciated by 8.08 per cent to close at N33 per share.

Conversely, Eterna dominated the gainers chart in percentage terms, gaining 9.91 per cent to close at N5.99 per share.

Linkage Assurance followed with 9.72 per cent to close at 79k and Royal Exchange rose by 9.09 per cent to close at 36k per share.

Japaul Gold and Ventures appreciated by 8.89 per cent to close at 49k, while FCMB Group gained 4.59 per cent to close at N2.96 per share.

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Also, the total volume of trades declined by 6.19 per cent with an exchange of 224.59 million valued at N2.14bn in 4,675 deals.

This was against 239.42 million shares worth N2.32bn exchanged in 4,445 deals on Thursday.

Transactions in the shares of UACN topped the activity chart with 34.05 million shares valued at N337.61m.

Access Bank followed with 26.35 million shares worth N214.93m, while FBN Holdings traded 18.93 million shares valued at N137.44m.

Zenith Bank traded 16.59 million shares worth N364.34m, while Fidelity Bank transacted 15.31 million shares valued at N39.15m

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PMS: we can’t continue to bear N120bn monthly subsidy – NNPC

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The Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation NNPC, Mele Kyari, says the corporation can no longer bear the over N120 billion monthly subsidy for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

This was disclosed, during the weekly media briefing organized by the Presidential Communication Team at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday.

According to the GMD, the actual cost of importation and handling charges amounts to N234 per litre, while the government is selling at N162 per litre.

He also stated that the NNPC absorbs the cost differential which is recorded in its financial books. Kyari, however, said that since NNPC could no longer bear the cost, sooner or later Nigerians would have to pay the actual cost for the commodity.

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According to the GMD, the NNPC pays between N100 billion and N120 billion a month to keep the pump price at the current levels. He said that market forces must be allowed to determine the pump price of petrol in the country.

“Our current consumption (evacuation) from our depots is about 60million litres per day. We are selling at N162 a litre. Current market price is 234, actual market price today.

“The difference between the two, multiply by 60million, times thirty, will give you per month.

“This is a simple calculation you do. If you want exact figures from our book, I do not have it from this moment but it’s between N100billion and N120billion per month.

We are putting the difference in the books of NNPC and we cannot continue to bear,’’ he said.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who also spoke at the event, expressed the hope that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would be passed into law in April.

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According to him, efforts are being made by the legislators to complete work on the bill and pass it, in line with the aspirations of critical stakeholders in the petroleum sector.

“The National Assembly has expressed the intent to pass the PIB into law by April 2021, every effort is being made to support the National Assembly to meet this target,” he said.

While enumerating the gains of the PIB to Nigerians, the minister said it would create additional infrastructure across petroleum value chain. He added that it would increase petroleum activities as well as enhance the livelihood of inhabitants of oil producing communities.

He said the bill would create additional infrastructure across the petroleum value chain especially from mid-stream and down-stream. He added that critical infrastructure would also be developed, while utilising the incremental revenue from increased petroleum activities.

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Sylva said it would also provide additional infrastructure in the host communities arising from the host community trust. The minister further stated that more businesses would be set up to support increased activities within the petroleum value chain.

“Greater confidence would be engendered with certainty in the petroleum industry, which will lead to increased investments.

“Nigeria will occupy its place among commits of nations who have updated their petroleum industry laws in line with current realities.

“The bill will also enable a structured monetisation of fossil fuel resources before the whole world turns to renewables.

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