Published On: Thu, Aug 3rd, 2017

26-year-old founder wants to transform online payments in Africa

Aboyeji is the Co-Founder of Flutterwave, a payments API that makes it easier for banks and businesses to process payments across Africa. The service allows consumers to pay for things in their local currency; Flutterwave takes care of integrating banks and payment-service providers into its platform so businesses don’t have to take on the expense and burden.

U.S. investors just poured $10 million of fresh funding into it. This sizable round comes one year after Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan led a $24 million funding round into another Africa-focused startup, Andela.

Andela, also co-founded by Aboyeji, trains and connects African developers to global companies for work.

“It is critical that Africans are able to participate in the digital economy,” Aboyeji told CNN Tech.

More than half of global population growth over the next 30 years is expected to occur in Africa, according to a report from the United Nations. By 2035, the number of Africans joining the working age population is expected to exceed those entering it worldwide, the International Monetary Fund projects. There’s no universal payment method in Africa, and only 3% of Africans reportedly own a credit card. Other forms of payments include bank transfers and digital wallets.

It means that African businesses have a hard time accepting payments from visitors. It also makes it difficult for companies like Google (GOOG), Netflix (NFLX, Tech30), Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) and Facebook (FB, Tech30) to accept local payments from African customers. It hinders the ease with which Africans connect with some of tech’s most beloved services.

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